On the heels of last week’s surrender of 45 Ragdoll cats -- the MSPCA-Angell’s largest single-home cat surrender in five years -- the organization is now the temporary home of 17 Chihuahuas taken from a Jamaica Plain home after their families were forced to leave, the MSPCA announced Wednesday.
The dogs, six males and 11 females, range in age from one to four. They are described as very active and in good health, but not without their challenges.
“Our sense is that these dogs may never have left the apartments in which they lived and, as a result, will need time to learn how to walk on a leash, obey some basic commands and so on,” said Anna Rafferty-Arnold, associate director of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center.
“But we’re committed to working with them -- and their new owners -- to ensure they become excellent canine citizens,” she added.
The dogs were split among family members living in three different apartments in a three-unit building. Unfortunately the owners were forced to move but could not find housing that would allow them to keep their pets, so they reluctantly surrendered them to the MSPCA.
Only a handful of the dogs have been spayed and neutered so the MSPCA’s medical staff will perform the remaining surgeries, as well updating the dogs with necessary vaccinations, before they are microchipped and placed for adoption.
Chihuahuas in Boston and On Cape Cod!
Eleven Chihuahuas are at the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center in Jamaica Plain and six have been transported to the MSPCA-Cape Cod in Centerville, Mass.
The director of the MSPCA’s Cape Cod adoption center, Mary Sarah Fairweather, says that the dogs in her care on the shyer side.
“The six dogs that we have -- four females and two males -- are a bit skittish, mostly because they’ve gone from a home in which they lived almost entirely indoors, and without exposure to any other dogs, to a busy animal shelter where they are just now getting used to collars and leashes and routines,” she said.
Despite these challenges, Fairweather believes their futures are bright. “Chihuahuas are always in demand because they’re adorable and small -- qualities that adopters often look for when evaluating pet dogs,” she said.
“Chihuahua owners are some of the most dog-aware adopters that we see in our centers because they understand the unique socialization needs of these special dogs,” said Rafferty-Arnold. “We’re really keen to speak with admirers of this breed in particular because we just know these dogs will appeal to them.”