OAKLAND -- The East Bay SPCA is hosting its first Great Chihuahua Challenge, where Bay Area shelters and rescue groups aim to spay/neuter 500 Chihuahuas by the end of May.

The hype of Chihuahuas starring in movies like "Legally Blonde" and "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" has diminished and now the small canine makes up more than 20 percent of the animals at shelters, said Laura Fulda, vice president of marketing and development for East Bay SPCA.

Great Chihuahua Challenge

When: May 6-10

Where: Oakland Spay/Neuter Surgery Center, 410 Hegenberger Rd.

Registration: $20, includes a vaccination for distemper and rabies. An additional $10 cost for microchip. Owners must register in advance.

Age-weight: Chihuahuas must be younger than 7 years old and weigh no more than 15 pounds.

Info: 510-639-7387, or go to www.eastbayspca.org/palooza

The 11 participating shelters and rescue groups are:

Berkeley Animal Services

Berkeley East Bay Humane Society

Hayward Animal Services

Humane Society Silicon Valley

Marin Humane Society

Oakland Animal Services

Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA

San Francisco SPCA

San Jose Animal Care Center

Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority

Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation



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