Top dogs: Chihuahua among most popular breeds in county

By Philip Haldiman
Independent Newsmedia

Maricopa County loves its Chihuahuas.

Independent Newsmedia conducted a public records request for the number of licensed dogs by breed in Maricopa County. About 375,000 dogs were registered in 2018, and data showed the most popular dogs in Maricopa County are Chihuahua, Labrador retriever, German shepherd, pit bull and shih tzu.

It’s not that surprising Chihuahuas topped the list, after all the breed is native to the Southwest.

Bretta Nelson, public relations manager for Arizona Humane Society, said it seems geographically there are many Chihuahuas, and their representation in the media with movies like “Legally Blonde” could be part of the reason they are so popular. Plus they are so portable.

“In the end, we always encourage people to meet with a specific dog to learn their personality instead of tying any stereotypes to a particular breed, as each one is just as different as the various people you come across in life,” she said.

Also popular rescues

Unfortunately, some of the most popular dogs are also popular rescues.

Ms. Nelson said Chihuahuas, pit bulls and cats are among the top animal populations in county shelters. They are also populations that are rescued sick, injured and abused. The AHS field rescue teams take in these vulnerable animals in partnership with the organization’s animal trauma hospital, both of which operate 365 days a year.

Ms. Nelson said out of 1,450 pets in the society’s care,  771 of them are in foster homes. That quantity amounts to the size of a shelter, she said. The other 679 pets are being cared for in society shelters.

Of those numbers, 110 pets are on a foster list, in need of foster homes and waiting in the shelter.

Ms. Nelson said these large numbers have created a big need for foster families, including newborn kittens who need to be bottle fed.

To foster, visit azhumane.org/foster.

“It expands the walls of our organization so much and we provide all of the support, medical care, food, anything that is needed,” she said.

Register your pet

Residents are required by law to have their dog registered with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.

John Reynolds, west shelter manager for Animal Care and Control, said the purpose of licensing is to show that the dog is vaccinated for rabies, which is a deadly virus that can affect mammals, including humans.

It is an infectious disease that is almost always fatal following the onset of clinical symptoms.

Dogs are the main source of human rabies deaths, contributing up to 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans, according to the World Health Organization. It is spread to people through bites or scratches, usually via saliva.

But it is preventable through dog immunization.

In terms of pet health, most people probably do not understand the connection between licensing and health, Mr. Reynolds said.

“By ensuring that dogs are vaccinating, we are controlling a rabies reservoir that, in the past, was a common way that humans contracted rabies. Because of aggressive vaccination campaigns and by having state and local laws requiring all dogs to be vaccinated and licensed, we have been able to get to the point where we have not seen a case of rabies in a domestic dog in Maricopa County in many years,” he said. “Similar situations have happened in other states, and now rabies in humans is rare, usually occurring from bites of wild animals.”

To register dogs online, county residents may visit maricopa.gov/226/Dog-License. Residents may also mail the forms or register in person. There is a $2 discount when licensing online. Fees for spayed/neutered dogs are $21 and unaltered dogs are $55. If owners are 65 years and older, fee is $10.

In order to maintain the health of pets, Mr. Reynolds recommends all pet owners keep their pets current on all vaccines, not just the rabies vaccine.

He said all dogs should also have a DA2PP vaccination, and cats should have an FVRCP vaccination. For dogs that may be boarded or that spend time in dog parks or other dog-social settings, a Bordetella vaccination would also be recommended.

“There are other vaccines and medications that you may consider for your pet, such as heartworm preventatives and flea/tick medications,” he said. “Pet owners should discuss these with their veterinarian.”

Philip Haldiman can be reached at 623-876-3697, phaldiman@newszap.com, or on Twitter @philiphaldiman.

 

Volunteer
The Arizona Humane Society needs volunteers at their PetSmart Scottsdale adoption location at Miller and Camelback roads. To become a volunteer, visit azhumane.org/volunteer and complete online orientation.

Volunteers will greet customers, help initialize adoptions and provide customer service to potential adopters and shoppers. Volunteer duties:

  • Help adopters find the right match for their home and lifestyle.
  • Work with staff to introduce pets to adopters, which requires excellent handling skills.
  • Ensure adopters have all the information they need to be successful with their new pets: introduction to a new home, socialization, basic medical care, etc.
  • Ensure each adopted pet leaves in required box/carrier or leash and collar and goes home with proper merchandise to set them up for success in their new home.
  • Take photos of pets if needed for the website or marketing purposes.
  • Provide enrichment to the pets.
  • Serve as an ambassador for the organization, and promote a positive image and reputation.

 

Register
All dogs over three months of age are required to be licensed with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. Pet owners will need a completed Rabies Vaccination Certificate. There is a $2 discount when licensing online and the fee is $10 for pet owners 65 years and older (Dog must be altered.). To register, go to maricopa.gov/226/Dog-License.
Spayed/neutered dogs: $21
Unaltered dogs: $55

 

Most popular dogs in certain municipalities
Avondale
Chihuahua
Labrador retriever
Pit bull
German shepherd
Shih tzu

Buckeye
Chihuahua
Labrador retriever
Pit bull
German shepherd
Shih tzu

Chandler
Labrador retriever
Chihuahua
German shepherd
Shih tzu
Pit bull

El Mirage
Chihuahua
Pit bull
Labrador retriever
German shepherd
Yorkshire terrier

Fountain Hills
Labrador retriever
Chihuahua
German shepherd
Pit bull
Shih tzu

Gilbert
Labrador retriever
Chihuahua
German shepherd
Shih tzu
Golden retriever

Glendale
Chihuahua
Labrador retriever
German shepherd
Pit bull
Shih tzu

Goodyear
Chihuahua
Labrador retriever
Yorkshire terrier
German shepherd
Shih tzu

Litchfield Park
Labrador retriever
Chihuahua
German shepherd
Shih tzu
Yorkshire terrier

Mesa
Chihuahua
Labrador retriever
Pit bull
German shepherd
Shih tzu

Paradise Valley
Labrador retriever
Golden retriever
Chihuahua
German shepherd
Yorkshire terrier

Peoria
Chihuahua
Labrador retriever
Pit bull
Germ shepherd
Shih tzu

Youngtown
Chihuahua
Labrador retriever
Pit bull
German shepherd
Shih tzu

Surprise
Chihuahua
Labrador retriever
Shih tzu
German shepherd
Yorkshire terrier



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