Local animal shelters send 30 pups to Idaho

December 8, 2013 9:00 pm

Chihuahua living in Alameda animal shelter

Around 30 small dogs from East Bay shelters are scheduled for a Monday morning flight to Boise, Idaho. The program to relocate dogs to an area where adoption is more likely is being called the “Chihuahua Express” by organizers.

Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) was packed with small dogs Sunday and the shelter’s Animal Care Coordinator, Diana Kimbrough, blames the designer dog trend. She says some people purchase small dogs as accessories, then when they realize the animals require more care than expected the dogs end up on the street or in shelters.

“Shelters in the Bay Area are flooded with small little dogs, like this one, and there’s not a whole lot of interest in adopting,” said Kimbrough.

In an effort to combat the problem, FAAS was collaborating with the Berkeley Animal Shelter to fly 30 small dogs to Boise, Idaho, where the need is greater.

“It’s a pretty progressive idea to send dogs to where there is a demand so you’re not euthanizing animals that could make a great companion for somebody,” said Kimbrough.

FAAS has housed 398 dogs since January and it’s a relatively small shelter. The extra kennel space created by the dog transfer will allow them to take in other animals and spend more time with ones already at the shelter.

The Chihuahua Express is costing FAAS around $600, but local veterinarians are covering the bill. Pilots with the organization Wings of Rescue will take off from the Livermore Municipal Airport at nine Monday morning with the dogs on board.

If all goes well with the first trip, FAAS hopes to make the small dog transfer a regular occurrence.