Fifteen Chihuahuas that were ditched Friday morning at the front door of the Pasadena Humane Society are in good condition and adjusting to the shelter well.
The Chihuahuas -- crammed into cages designed for animals as small as guinea pigs -- may have come from a backyard breeding operation, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society said.
“They were found to be in good condition, although they were anxious, and looked confused,” said Ricky Whitman, the spokeswoman for the Pasadena Humane Society. “The wiring on the cage was the same size wire as you see on bird cages."
Surveillance footage showed a white “work-style” truck cruising through the parking lot just before 5:30 a.m. when the dogs were dumped. By Friday afternoon, the animals were settling in, Whitman said.
“Late Friday, they were asleep, lying on each other, and snuggling up together,” Whitman said. “Hopefully we'll be able to determine what their personalities are like soon and place them in a loving home.”
Several people have already inquired about adopting the Chihuahuas, Whitman said. No decisions will be made until the animals complete a five-day observation period at the shelter.
“We’ve had tons of people interested,” Whitman said.
Chihuahuas make up about 40 percent of the population at the Pasadena Humane Society's shelter, Whitman said. The breed was very trendy a few years ago, but now many Chihuahuas are abandoned and in need of homes.
The Pasadena Humane Society is conducting an investigation in an attempt to discover who the driver of the white truck may be, but the license plate is not identifiable from the surveillance footage. Abandoning animals at a shelter can warrant a misdemeanor.
In this case, the person responsible could be charged with 15 misdemeanors -- one per dog, according to Whitman. But it’s not likely that the dog-ditcher will be found and charged.
"Things like this are usually not very successful,” Whitman said.
She urged people not to adopt dogs just because the breed is trendy.
“It’s important for people to realize what the ownership of animals means," Whitman said. "It’s a responsibility -- you can't just abandon animals at the shelter.”