Apr 23, 2008

You won't find these little girls in a chi-chi bag in Hollywood

Chihuahuas (chi’s). Coming in a close second to pitties for dogs dumped, at least here in San Francisco, we are seeing more and more of these frightened little dogs. While Give a Dog a Bone's charges are mostly custody dogs, we also take medically challenged dogs under our wing.

"Dumped dog" is not a nice term, but then, neither are the dogs that are found wandering the streets, brought into the shelter by a Good Samaritan (Good Sams, we call them), or just dumped in a box in front of the shelter, the pitties and chi’s are usually in sad shape and go directly to a medical isolation kennel.

Many of these dogs are terribly undersocialized, as well as having severe medical issues. Having been bred to sell as a member of a fad breed for maximum bucks and for all the wrong reasons, care is not taken to ensure their well-being in ways that dogs need to become good healthy (behaviorally and medically) companion animals. We have adults, puppies, adolescents, all shapes, colors, and sizes. We have dogs that come from backyard breeders or puppy mills and they all consider the dogs whom we treasure as a commodity. Perhaps I preach to the choir, but you who read our blog do know that those cute dogs that you see on on-line lists, newspaper ads, and pet stores come from these places? People also surrender these dogs to shelters because they haven't done any breed research and have no idea who the four-legged being is who will be sharing their home.

GADAB starts their lives over. While the vet staff does their part, we treat skin holistically, work on fear issues with slow, soft, gentle approaches, using calming methods recommended by Turid Rugaas. They work. Most recover enough to go to a solid rescue organization, usually Grateful Dogs Rescue, where they go to foster homes until they can be adopted to a forever family. I say most, because sadly, some of these pitties and chi’s cannot recover from earlier traumas, and as much or as long as we try, their lives have become so awful that we are the last to care for them on this earth. Perhaps we have also been the first.

These three little girls went to Grateful Dogs Rescue, where they await their forever homes.

Written by Corinne Dowling.


Best Dog Videos said...

When I read that Chi's were the second most abandoned dog in SF you could have knocked me over with a feather. I would have assumed much larger and/or more aggressive dogs would have been behind pitbulls. Do you have a hypothesis as to why Chi's (especially as cute as this one) are being dumped?

- Your friends at Best Dog Videos

Corinne said...

Any "Fad" breed, such as chihuahuas right now (people will always copy the famous and how many chi's have you seen in expensive purse bags or in famous skinny arms lately), can quickly become victims of unscrupulous breeders. For example, after the movie, 101 Dalmations, Dalmations were severely overbred, resulting in the breed suffering from traits ranging from deafness to hyperactivity. Physical traits that are considered desirable, such as spots on Dalmations, are genetically linked to undesirable traits, resulting in ultimately harming the breed. Is there any reason why English Bulldogs have such overshot lower jaws (making breathing difficult), other than getting Best in Show at Westminster? And on and on. Overbreeding will always result in dogs suffering in some way, from puppy mills to becoming a lonely backyard dog to being used as a financial incentive for a dog fighter such as Michael Vick.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.