Chris Higens, president of the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge, is hoping to find fur-ever homes for several rescued Chihuahuas. (Supplied photos0

Chris Higens, president of the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge, is hoping to find fur-ever homes for several rescued Chihuahuas. (Supplied photos0

Animal shelter rescues 54 Chihuahua pups

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Animal Welfare League seeks dozens of fur-ever homes

By Kelly White

More than 50 Chihuahuas are looking for their fur-ever homes.

A call came in to the Animal Welfare League, 10305 Southwest Hwy., Chicago Ridge, from a concerned relative of a family member whose love for the particular canine spiraled, leaving the owner unable to care for so many pups.

reporter chihuahua pups3“It’s not unusual that family members will contact the Animal Welfare League when they are concerned that a relative’s love of animals has gotten a bit out of hand, but even the seasoned professionals at the Animal Welfare League were taken aback when their call to rescue several small pups from a Chicago South Side apartment ended up with 54 Chihuahuas looking for new homes,” Chris Higens, president of the AWL, said.

The Chihuahuas were rescued from a two-bedroom apartment in McKinley Park on Chicago’s South Side on April 4.

The apartment’s landlord stated that the dogs being kept there would have to be removed.

“Initially, we were told there were about 40 Chihuahuas in all, but when we arrived on site, our staff just kept bringing more and more of these little pups out the door,” Higens said. “It was very sad to see that so many animals were living in one apartment. The owners got in over their heads and this should never have occurred. Fortunately, the majority of the animals were well cared for.”

Chihuahuas are the smallest breed of dog in the world. Typically weighing in between two and six pounds, and standing about seven to nine inches tall.

reporter chihuahua pups2Most of the pups were reported to be young and in very good condition, however, some of them are older and suffer from typical age-related illnesses. All of the recovered pups were screened upon intake to ensure there were no underlying health issues before being placed up for adoption at the shelter’s Chicago Ridge location.

This was not the first time the shelter has witnessed a circumstance like this.

“We have been dealing with these types of situations for years,” Higens said. “Unfortunately, this is one of those situations we are seeing more of now that the COVID crisis seems to be coming to an end. Being shut indoors for that last two years caused a lot of pet owners to forego looking for adopters for puppies their dog may have had. At the same time, some family and friends who were seeking to adopt puppies from them before the pandemic changed their mind because of the uncertainty they experienced with their jobs and lifestyles.”

The shelter employes two Approved Humane Investigators licensed through the Illinois Dept. of Agriculture and strongly believes in helping out the local communities.

Through donations of others, the shelter is able to continue with our mission of providing food, water, shelter, medical care, preventing pet over-population and alleviating pain and suffering.

reporter chihuahua pups4“I have seen so much pain and suffering over my tenure working with animals,” Higens said. “It is amazing to see such a high volume of animals come through our doors and know they will have a happy ending. Even the special needs animals will not be forgotten. They will get the care they deserve and we will do our very best to find that special home for them. I have always had a weak spot for special needs animals.”

Those interested in adopting the Chihuahuas are asked to watch the website as they become available at https://animalwelfareleague.com/animals/adoptable-animals. Applications are available online and the normal adoption process will be followed.

“It is a large undertaking to care for such a high volume of animals,” Higens said. “If you cannot adopt, perhaps you can make a donation on-line through our website or donate moist or canned dog food, including puppy food. Most importantly, this entire situation could have been avoided by spaying or neutering your pets. Not only does it prevent pet over-population but has many benefits for a pet’s health. Many shelters are bursting at the seams with unwanted animals. Please don’t shop always adopt.”

7 Comments

  1. Martha Saldivar on April 20, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    How do I get in contact with this place to adopt a puppy?



    • Bob Bong on April 20, 2023 at 3:07 pm

      Those interested in adopting the Chihuahuas are asked to watch the website as they become available at https://animalwelfareleague.com/animals/adoptable-animals. Applications are available online and the normal adoption process will be followed.



  2. Martha Saldivar on April 20, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    How do I get in contact with shelter to adopt a puppy.



    • Bob Bong on April 20, 2023 at 3:07 pm

      Those interested in adopting the Chihuahuas are asked to watch the website as they become available at https://animalwelfareleague.com/animals/adoptable-animals. Applications are available online and the normal adoption process will be followed.



  3. Tomi Phipps on April 20, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    I lived in Central Illinois, and would LOVE to adopt 1 of these babies. What a shame that some can’t refrain from getting dogs and no spaying done.



  4. Tomi Phipps on April 20, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    I live in Central Illinois and would love to adopt 1 of these babies. Chihuahuas are my favorite breed and I’ve had 3.



  5. Lorrie on April 24, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    How many are you going to kill I wonder. This facility should have NEVER been contacted to take these dogs. They would rather kill than rehome. The family member did a great disservice to these animals. A rescue, Chicago animal care and control or the anti cruelty society should have been contacted instead of this crap hole. Smh



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