29 Chihuahuas Find Homes Within 24 Hours Thanks To Stafford Shelter

STAFFORD COUNTY, VA — The Stafford County Animal Shelter has found homes for 29 Chihuahuas that were recently surrendered to the shelter after the death of their owner.

The shelter was already beyond capacity for dogs before taking in the Chihuahuas. On Tuesday, shelter staff members took to Facebook hoping to find families for these dogs.

By Wednesday afternoon, all the dogs had found new homes.

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“It was a hugely successful 24 hours for us at the shelter. We really couldn’t have done this without the support of our community who really stepped up,” Lauren Hopkins, the manager of the animal shelter told Patch. “We had calls and emails from all over the country from people asking how they could help, and a literal line out the door within minutes of me putting the post on Facebook.”

According to the animal shelter, 11 of the dogs were taken in by local rescue organizations. The remaining 18 Chihuahuas were adopted by families.

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Even prior to accepting the 29 Chihuahuas, the animal shelter had struggled with overcrowding, especially with dogs.

The overcrowding at the Stafford County Animal Shelter is part of a broader trend across the country. Nationwide, shelters are struggling to find homes for their animals.

Shelter Animals Count operates a national database for statistics regarding shelters and adoption agencies. In their most recent report, they noted that shelters across the country are issuing similar pleas for help.

“Animal organizations continue to struggle with over-capacity status and urgently need community support, expressing a dire need for members of their communities to adopt or foster from local shelters or rescue organizations, spay or neuter their pets, and volunteer or donate,” the report says.

The report showed that more dogs are being brought into shelters than adopted out. Compared to 2022, the first nine months of 2023 showed a 2.5 percent increase in dog intake for shelters.

The Stafford shelter was thrilled to find homes for the Chihuahuas, but the shelter is still near capacity.

“We still have over 20 adoptable dogs at the shelter, including Dodo who just hit a milestone of being with us for 300 days,” Hopkins told Patch.

The shelter’s original Facebook received more than 8,000 shares on Tuesday.

“We hope the attention the shelter is receiving for these chihuahuas carries over to the other amazing dogs who deserve the same love and attention,” Hopkins said.

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