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Blog > August 2015 > Increase In Abandoned "Handbag Dogs"

Increase In Abandoned "Handbag Dogs"

Once a popular pet, the number of "handbag dogs" handed in to rescue centres is increasing.  Faced with the reality of looking after a dog - that they are more than just a fashion accessory, owners no longer want to look after them.  Many of these breeds - Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, "miniature" Yorkshire Terriers - suffer health problems from poor breeding practices, and faced with large vet bills, owners give them up.

According to the Blue Cross the number of Yorkshire Terriers handed in to them has increased over 40% in the last five years.  They are not the only rescue noticing this change, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home say that the number of Chihuahuas in their care increased by 36% compared to the year before.*

Here are the top 5 "handbag" breeds handed into Blue Cross centres last year:

1.  Yorkshire terrier (92 hand-ins in 2014/ 65 in 2009)
2.  Chihuahua (53 hand-ins in 2014/ 0 in 2009)
3.  Cavalier King Charles spaniel (36 hand-ins in 2014/ 14 in 2009)
4.  Bichon frise (28 hand-ins in 2014/ 13 in 2009)
5.  Shih tzu (31 in 2014/ 17 in 2009)

The rise in the problem also come from more of these dogs being bred than are being brought, along with the little thought that goes into buying a dog.  The Blue Cross did a survey of pet owners and found that:

"nearly a third spend less than a week researching which pet they will get ... 38% admitted to spending more time researching the purchase of a new mobile phone or tablet and 18% had even bought a pet on impulse."


Small breeds of dogs also often come into rescues with behavioural issues.  Warrington Animal Welfare had a pair of Chihuahuas handed in that were so used to being carried about, that walking was a strange, scary experience for them. 

Owners often forget that small breeds still need exercise like any other dog.   Molly coddling dogs can also lead to separation anxiety issues, as shown in this Channel 5 new report:




So please, before getting a small dog do plenty of research to avoid more dogs ending up in rescue.  And if you do want to give a small dog a home, adopt one that has lost theirs.


*Numbers from 2013

Posted: 27/08/2015 12:24:26 by Warrington Animal Welfare | with 0 comments


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