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Chihweenies cause Auburn dog adoption frenzy

15 dogs rescued by Placer County group have no shortage of willing owners
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - Chihweenies have captured the hearts of prospective dog owners in Auburn. Two weeks ago, the Auburn Area Animal Rescue Foundation recovered 15 of the Chihuahua-dachshund pups from a Lincoln woman who found she had more animals than she could handle. AAARF soon sent out a call for potential human partners for the dogs – dubbed “chihweenies” – and the non-profit group plans to adopt them out to good homes this weekend at its North Auburn location. Interest in the dogs has been so great that manager Kristine Martin said Friday that a groundswell of pre-approved applicants AAARF had already signed up could result in all the pups finding homes quite quickly. What’s the appeal? “Their story melts people’s hearts and small dogs are very desirable,” Martin said. And they’re part-Chihuahua – a wildly popular breed at the moment. “I don’t know what it is – I call it Chihuahua fever,” Martin said. Martin, who has a Chihuahua, said that her own personal experience with the breed has been positive. But she added that they’re not for everybody. “They’re cute, everybody loves them but they have issues,” Martin said. “Unlike many big dogs, they demand a lot of attention. It’s like having a puppy all of the time.” Carolyn Carr, a rescue foundation volunteer, is one of the pre-approved, potential chihweenie dog owners. She has a couple of large dogs and has adopted two cats but the chihweenies at AAARF were too adorable to pass up. “My rat terrier died last year after 15 years and I felt I needed a little dog again,” Carr said. “These ones are cuddly. It’s different from having a big dog.” The chihweenies are swelling the ranks of adopted dogs from AAARF, which normally finds homes for about 100 annually. Carr has seen the chihweenies change and grow in the span of a few days, as they stayed at the Masters Court AARF facility in North Auburn. The dogs arrived in generally good condition and were given vaccinations for distemper, hepatitis and other pet-related diseases. “When they came in they were timid,” Carr said. “But after one week of being handled and walked on a leash, they’ve completely changed. This is a story with a happy ending.”