Operation Chihuahua Drop

Remember that kids’ movie that came out a few months ago? Something about Chihuahuas and offensive Mexican stereotypes? It was called, like, Viva Chihuahua or something. And like most movies about cute dogs, it resulted in a slew of parents buying Chihuahuas for their squalling little larvae, which in turn resulted in a slew of Chihuahuas being deposited in animal shelters when those same parents realized that it’s harder to teach kids to housetrain a dog than it is to just get rid of the dog and ply the kids with Hannah Montana crap until they stop crying.

Which is why — and this is the cool part — the SPCALA is doing a Chihuahua airlift today. Let’s say that again in all caps for good measure: CHIHUAHUA AIRLIFT. Awesome.

Chubbers, one of the dogs making the trek.
Chubbers, one of the dogs making the trek.

Because Chihuahuas are the most popular breed of dog in LA, the SPCALA, which has shelters in Hawthorne and Long Beach, has more Chihuahuas than any other type of dog. It’s been that way for the past three years, and the problem is only getting worse. With shelter space at a premium, there weren’t many options available.

In Denver, a city I’ve never visited but am led to believe is very rugged, the opposite is true; the shelters are full of large dogs, and shelter workers find themselves turning away people who want smaller dogs. So through the magic of a generous donor, the SPCALA has partnered with Pet Airways (an airline that only transports pets which I totally swear to god I’m not making up) and the curiously-named Dumb Friends League, a Denver shelter, to transport thirty-five of the little dogs from LA to the Mile High City.

It marks the first time animals have been airlifted from any of SPCALA’s shelters, though a similar airlift after Hurricane Katrina brought animals to the local shelters. The plane takes off this morning from the Hawthorne Municipal Airport.

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