The past few years around Christmas and Valentine's Day we've heard about Chihuahua airlifts happening that take the West Coast's unwanted bumper crop of the little dogs in shelters to places on the East Coast and elsewhere where they're in demand. Somehow, through a combination of Paris Hilton and Taco Bell, the Bay Area has become a particular hub of stray Chihuahuas, some of them even feral (!) at this point because they've grown up entirely on the streets. As the Chron reports, there are "thousands of stray Chihuahuas wandering neighborhoods from San Jose to Vallejo," some abandoned by owners who couldn't take care of them, some victims of overbreeding.

And perhaps because there are so many of them, they're keeping themselves sort of purebred out there! According to the East Bay SPCA, about 1,500 small dogs arrive annually, and most of those are stray Chihuahuas. And five Chihuahua puppies arrived in one 24-hour period this past week, which is apparently not unusual.

I take slight issue with animal control's assertion that the dogs are not a menace to the public, however. Have you met many Chihuahuas? They can be mean little bastards to everyone who isn't their owner.

Anyway, in addition to the Virgin America-sponsored airlifts previously reported, the city of Oakland apparently "flies hundreds of them annually to rescue groups in Idaho, Washington and Canada." So, that's good.