Instead of a Chihuahua mutt, wouldn’t you rather have a Chorkie, or a part miniature pinscher, part Yorkie terrier and part Chihuahua mix? One animal shelter is banking on you saying yes.
The Peninsula Humane Society and the SPCA in Burlingame (about 30 minutes south of San Francisco) have teamed up to offer free DNA tests, under the campaign “Who’s Your Daddy?”
The shelter’s senior vice president Scott Delucchi is hoping this will help increase the adoption rate of Chihuahuas (and Chihuahua mixes), as these dogs make up more than 25 percent of the animals taken in at the shelter.
By having a “Kiwi collier” (a Chihuahua-Australian shepherd-Jack Russell terrier-collie), the shelter is hoping these unique breed names will allow pups to stand out from the Chihuahua crowd.
In February, the shelter tested 12 dogs that resembled each other. All dogs that got the DNA test were placed in homes within two weeks, which was twice as fast as 11 untested dogs that looked similar from the month of January, according to a release.
Not only does the DNA test provide owners with uncommon names but also helps people determine the temperament of their newly adopted pooch.
For instance, after discovering her 6-pound Lily was a miniature pinscher, Yorkie and Chihuahua (Chorkie), Lynn Mazzola could understand her dog’s behavior better.
“It explains why she goes after birds and mice and she’s not nervous like a Chihuahua,” she said in a statement.
All this is good news for the pint-size dogs.
In the last few years, Chihuahuas mixes have become the most popular breed taken in by the shelter. Some reasons include the obsession with carrying small dogs in purses, Paris Hilton and the Beverly Hills Chihuahua movie.
And while this is a step in the right direction, the organizations understand they need to do more than DNA tests to get the population under control. They also need to educate owners about the need to spay/neuter while also offering low-cost services to do so.
California shelters have also transported Chihuahuas to states where there is a demand for these dogs, like New York and Florida.