Did you know there is a dog overpopulation of 2.7 million in the U.S.?
Most recently, there has been an explosion in the Chihuahua population in the Southwestern U.S.
To mitigate this, the Humane Society Silicon Valley has teamed up with PetSmart Charities to launch a free spay and neuter program called The Chihuahua Project. This program has generated a 12.5% drop in the number of surrendered Chihuahua and Chihuahua mixes within Santa Clara County, California.
As you know, Chihuahua’s share a special place in my heart, so I had to learn more about this. I had the opportunity to interview Carol Novello, President of the Humane Society Silicon Valley, for further commentary on The Chihuahua Project, which you can read below. Help to spread the word by sharing this post with your friends!
Can you explain the goal/mission of The Chihuahua Project?
Chihuahuas and their mixes are one of the top breeds of dogs to enter shelters in Santa Clara County, California. The goal of the project is to reduce the number of homeless Chihuahuas and their mixes coming into Santa Clara County Shelters. We have identified the top 5 zip codes where the dogs seem to originate from and we are targeting those 5 zip codes. (95111, 95112, 95116, 95122, 95127)
How did you come up with the The Chihuahua Project?
Over the last 5-8 years we have seen the Chihuahua breed and their mix increase in our local shelters. We also have increased reports of Chihuahuas running loose in neighborhoods and an increase in the number of pregnant Chihuahuas that come to our doors in distress with life threatening complications from pregnancy.
How can pet parents receive a free spay or neuter by The Chihuahua Project?
To learn more about how to receive a free spay/neuter, check out the Humane Society Silicon Valley website.
Do you foresee The Chihuahua Project reaching other states beyond California?
Not this specific project but we hope that our work and the recognized results encourage other communities to model their own Chihuahua project or targeted project in their own area.
How has The Chihuahua Project helped with the overpopulation problem?
In the years prior to 2012, the first year of our project, we had seen the number of Chis and their mixes steadily climbing in population in our Santa Clara County shelters. By the end of 2013, the second year of our project, the upward trend had leveled off and started a slight downward trend.
How can people help to support this initiative?
Act as a Spay/Neuter Advocate in your neighborhood, support Humane Society Silicon Valley through donations and volunteering to help us continue the Chihuahua Project. Local efforts create local results.
If you want to learn more or make a donation to The Chihuahua Project, please head over to www.hssv.org