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SOLANO COUNTY — It was a monumental task for the small SPCA of Solano County but it isn’t quite finished. The animal shelter which relies on donations and adoption fees took on the task several months ago of finding homes for 80 Chihuahuas that were being raised by an elderly woman in the county.

“This new for us because we were inundated by Chihuahuas,” SPCA veterinarian Kelly Palm said.

So far, 57 of them have been adopted with 23 left to go. According Palm it was quite a feat because chihuahua’s are second to pit bulls as far as numbers in California shelters. They are often popular after the latest television commercial, movie or seen on the arm of a celebrity.

But owners often give up on them.

“And then the shelters get filled to the brim with these dogs,” Palm said.

This was not a typical hoarding situation because the 75-year-old owner cared for them fairly well but got overwhelmed after starting out with just five or six dogs. Palm said the woman voluntarily gave them up for adoption and SPCA staff and volunteers began caring for them while they remained on her property.

This Sunday some of the dogs will be shipped to an shelter in Seattle where there are a shortage of Chihuahuas but there will be plenty available for adoption.

“We have every color, size, shape and gender,” said Palm.

The shelter charges $150 for adoptions which includes licenses, micro-chips, spaying and neutering and medical procedures required for adoptions.

The shelter took on the adoption project while continuing with it’s regular adoption chores. It has 20 other dogs of different breeds it’s trying to find homes for. The shelter does not euthanize animals and they stay at the shelter until homes are found.