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PHOENIX -- Chihuahuas are one of the most populous breeds in Maricopa County, and a dog shelter in Pennsylvania is helping to reduce the number.

Nearly two dozen canines will be taking a 2,400-mile car ride to the commonwealth after the Paws to Heart shelter of Bensalem, Pa., agreed to take in the Chihuahuas.

"They had two representatives fly into Phoenix, and then Friday morning they are renting a van," said Melissa Gable, public information officer for Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. "We have already selected the Chihuahuas that will be going; they have already been spayed and neutered."

Gable said Paws to Heart's removal of the dogs is a big help to MCACC because Chihuahuas and pit bulls make up the largest dog populations in county shelters and are overpopulated.

"There's just too many animals and not enough homes," Gable said.

She reiterated that with recent news of the west Phoenix neighborhood of Maryvale dealing with wild Chihuahua packs running loose on the streets, it's important to spay and neuter pets to stop overpopulation.

"A lot of these dogs that are running loose, they're not spayed or neutered, they're out running, looking for mates and then they're going to have more babies," Gable said. "It's just going to contribute to the problem, and it's not going to get any better."

Gable said MCACC is giving up 20 dogs to the Pennsylvania shelter at no cost.

Mark Remillard,

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