Maryvale, a Phoenix neighborhood, is being overrun by chihuahuas that authorities believe are on the loose after a string of foreclosures. A number of undocumented workers have also been deported, which may be contributing to the increased amount of stray dogs.
“We compared the number of calls we got in 2013 from that area to similar areas in town and the calls from Maryvale were three times higher than surrounding areas,” Melissa Gable with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control told ABC. "Part of it is these animals aren’t spayed or neutered, so they’re out looking for a mate and are having babies, which also contributes to the problem."
Maricopa Animal Care and Control will spay and neuter dogs for free.
“If at all possible, if you see a stray, if you can safely contain him in your yard and then call us, that makes a big difference. Because people are calling saying, ‘hey I see a stray’ by the time we get there, it’s gone, it slips under the fence, and we can’t find it. ” Gable said. “Do that, because it’s helping us come out and get the dogs.”
Officers are working as fast as they can to round up the small dogs because they can be dangerous at times.
"We get the reports of children or even adults being attacked or bitten by dogs that are running loose," John Reynolds with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control told Arizona Family. “We've sent our officers out on a daily basis for the last couple of weeks. We get a bunch of dogs that are out on a regular basis and they start to pack up and travel in packs. That can be even more dangerous."
According to Reynolds, there were about 6,000 stray dog calls in Maryvale last year.