EVERETT — In mid-March, the city rescued 21 poorly fed, filthy Chihuahuas from a home in Everett where the owner could no longer care for them.
After nursing them back to health, the Everett Animal Shelter is putting the dogs up for adoption. The big-eyed, tiny animals are beautiful and should make great companions, city spokeswoman Kate Reardon said. Most are short-haired, others a little shaggy and some are “apple-head” bald.
“These are highly desirable boutique dogs,” Reardon said. “But they will require some added tender, loving care.”
Eleven of them have already been sent to rescue shelters. The 10 that remain at the Everett shelter are all adults, many of which could live another 10 to 15 years with the proper care and training, shelter manager Shannon Delgado said.
“They will continue to require medical attention and dental care, which all small dogs need,” Delgado said. “We have been mothering them for more than a month. They have all gained weight, are clean and in good shape and have had some training and a lot of socialization.”
The dogs aren’t free.
If you adopt one of these purse pooches, you get a collared animal that has been spayed or neutered, implanted with an identifying microchip, vaccinated, given extensive dental and veterinary care, and had their nails clipped. The value of each of these dogs is much more than the $200 it will cost to take one home, Delgado said.
Delgado, who owns a Chihuahua of her own, said they tend to be very loyal animals once they are used to their new owners. Some of the dogs have lost most of their teeth and must eat soft food. Others need potty training and time to get used to a harness and leash.
People should be prepared to go through an application process to adopt the dogs, but most should be able to take a Chihuahua home on adoption day, she said.
“But it is first-come, first-served,” Delgado said. “Chihuahuas are popular.”
The shelter is at 333 Smith Island Road, Everett. More info: 425-257-6000; www.petfinder.com.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.