'Handbag dogs' handed off to shelters

Oct. 7, 2011 at 10:50 AM
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LONDON, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Animal shelter officials in Britain say miniature dogs are being abandoned at shelters as women who embraced the trend for tiny dogs move on to other things.

Blue Cross animal shelters across Britain say nearly 200 "handbag dogs" have been brought in this year, The Daily Telegraph reported. Officials at Dogs' Trust say they've seen a 44 percent increase in the number of chihuahuas, Shih Tzu and Pomeranians being abandoned at shelters.

"People see movie stars holding dogs and they want one at home," Emma Otto, welfare assistant at the Blue Cross adoption center in Southampton, told the newspaper. "But small dogs need to run around, socialize and be treated like dogs -- not sit in a handbag. When the owners get bored and the animals are sent here, a lot can't even walk."

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