Are you thinking about adding a new Chihuahua to your family? Before you start calling around breeders in your area, you should check into some of the local Chihuahua rescues. Many people seem to forget about these organizations and the loving, loyal and downright adorable Chihuahuas they offer. While they may not offer as many choices as breeders and pet shops do, there are several unique advantages associated with rescues. Here we're going to take a look at some of the top reasons why you should adopt from a Chihuahua rescue.
What Is a Chihuahua Rescue?
While there hundreds of Chihuahua rescues scattered throughout the country, many people have never even heard of them. If you're still confused on what they are, let me explain - basically, Chihuahua rescues are organizations that take in Chihuahuas that are stray, abused, abandoned, sick or simply no longer wanted by their owners until they are adopted. Once a new Chihuahua is brought into the organization, workers will actively try to seek out owners in search of a new canine companion. Sometimes this is a quick process that only takes days to find a willing owner, while other times Chihuahuas are left in the care of a rescue for several years.
Unlike animal shelters, rescue organizations don't euthanize their Chihuahuas if they aren't adopted out. Depending on the specific organization, they may call around their network of contacts to try and find someone willing to take them. However, the possibility of euthanizing a Chihuahua because no one wants them is usually out of the question; hence the name "rescue."
Chihuahua rescues are typically ran by volunteers who offer their time, skills and energy to save lives. According to the Humane Society, animal shelters take in roughly 6-8 million dogs and cats each year, of which 3-4 million are euthanized. It's not a fun subject to think about, which is why so many people choose to ignore it, but volunteering or even adopting from a rescue can help reduce these numbers.
#1 - Save a Life
The number one reason why you should adopt a Chihuahua from a rescue is simply because you'll be saving a life. You have to remember that many of the Chihuahuas taken in by these organizations were neglected and left behind by their previous owners. Instead of caring for them and providing them with the love, affection and care they deserve, their owners just leave them behind for someone else to deal with. By adopting a Chihuahua from a rescue, you are essentially giving it a second chance at life and the love they deserve.
Although most Chihuahua rescues are classified as "no-kill," they can only care for so many Chihuahuas at one time. Once they reach this cap, they are forced to turn others away until the ones in their care are adopted out. If you choose to adopt one, however, you open up a spot for another hopeful Chihuahua to come in and take their place.
#2 - Know Their Personality
A lesser-known benefit to adopting a Chihuahua from a rescue is that you get to see exactly what type of personality and characteristics they have before taking them home. Most of the Chihuahuas housed in rescue centers and their affiliated foster homes are full-grown adults and not puppies. Chihuahuas that are full-grown have already developed their unique personality and traits, so there's no question what they will be like inside your home. You can use this to your advantage by choosing an adult Chihuahua from a rescue with traits and characteristics that you believe will work well in your home.
If you want to get a feel for what a Chihuahua's personality is like, try to make several trips to the rescue. During this time, you can pet them, play with them and just experience what they are like. Once a Chihuahua gets used to you, they will open up and be more comfortable around you. Alternatively, you may even be able to take them back to your house for a certain amount of time. Talk to workers at the rescue to see what their policy is regarding foster care and visitations.
#3 - Health Care and Training
Chihuahuas housed and raised in rescue centers have already been given professional health care by licensed veterinarians. Depending on what health issues they have, this type of professional care alone can be worth hundreds of even thousands of dollars, none of which will be billed to you if you decide to adopt them. The fact is that you really don't know what, if any, health care was given to Chihuahuas sold from breeders or pet shops. Even if they claim that all of their Chihuahuas were taken to the vet, this is oftentimes a ruse to entice customers to purchase their Chihuahuas.
Yet another reason why you should adopt from a rescue is because they actually spend time training and teaching obedience to the Chihuahuas in their care. Animal shelters simply toss them into a large cage where they feed and water them daily. Rescues take a different approach by identifying behavioral issues and working directly to fix them. As a result, new owners are happily greeted with a Chihuahua that already knows how to use the bathroom outside, not to chew on furniture, etc.
What You'll Need To Adopt From a Chihuahua Rescue
After reading all of the advantages of Chihuahua rescues above, you're probably eager to go out and adopt the perfect Chihuahua. Before doing so, though, you'll have to make sure you have all your ducks in order. While the specific requirements vary from rescue to rescue, here are some of the basics that most rescues follow:
- Need to have a stable home that's safe for a small Chihuahua to live in.
- Some rescues may ask to perform a background check before allowing you to adopt.
- Must have the necessary income to pay for all of the costs associated with owning a Chihuahua.
- Be willing to dedicate a large portion of your time each day to your new Chihuahua.
- You have to be eager to teach and train your Chihuahua.
- Check with your local rescues to see what specific requirements they have.