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How to find a Chihuahua Rescue

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Perhaps you have decided to finally get a Chihuahua, or you already have a few and need another to complete your pack. Or unfortunately circumstances have occurred that require your Chihuahua find a new family.

closeup of a black chihuahua's face

Either way, you need to find a Chihuahua rescue. Where do you start?

How should you begin your search to adopt or for a rescue?

If you want to adopt or surrender locally, begin with an internet search for “dog rescue” or “Chihuahua rescue“, and visit your local animal shelter.

Browse through locally available dogs, as there may be a Chihuahua waiting for you just a few miles from your home. Non-breed specific rescues may also help you re-home your Chihuahua.

PetFinder can help you locate Chihuahuas who are waiting for their furever homes by distance from your zip code. PetFinder can also help you find a rescue to help you re-home your Chihuahua.

If you do not mind traveling to adopt your Chihuahua or to find the best rescue to re-home your Chihuahua, you could begin by an internet search for “Chihuahuas available for adoption” or “Chihuahua rescue”.

National Mill Dog Rescue specializes in rescuing dogs who were part a puppy mill operation.

As Chihuahuas are a popular breed in the puppy mill industry, they have many Chihuahuas available who are very deserving of a loving home.

Adopting a Chihuahua

closeup of chihuahua's face being carried in woman's shirt

Things to consider before adopting a Chihuahua

Before you commit to adopting a Chihuahua, you should consider if you are truly ready to take on the responsibility.

All dogs are emotional creatures who bond with their families, but the bond between Chihuahuas and their owners is one of the strongest.

To protect your potential Chihuahua and yourself from the heart break of re-homing, consider the following before meeting the Chihuahua you are considering adopting:

  • Can you afford the Chihuahua? Dogs can be expensive; veterinary care, medicine, food, toys, grooming, etc, can really add up.
  • Could you afford an emergency veterinary visit? Do you have $1,000 in savings for emergency surgery?Chihuahuas can be little gluttons, and they may eat something they are not supposed to. Their little legs can be fragile, and they may break a leg.
  • Could you afford your Chihuahua having an expensive medical condition? If you are considering a special needs Chihuahua, be sure to do research on their conditions to see if you can afford caring for them properly.If you are interested in adopting a healthy dog, consider if you could afford a medical condition if they developed one.
  • Do you have enough time for a Chihuahua? Do you enjoy attending parties after work and traveling?Could you take your Chihuahua with you to work and/or the places you usually go?Chihuahuas can get lonely; he or she would be sad to be alone for long periods of time regularly.
  • How long are you gone everyday?Are you able to take them for potty breaks mid day, or if you couldn’t, can you afford a dog walker?
  • Chihuahuas can live to be 20 years old! Are you ready to care for a Chihuahua for 20 years?Through life transitions, through being in plenty and being in want?

Re-Homing or Surrendering your Chihuahua

woman holding fawn chihuahua

Personally Re-homing

Consider that there are many Chihuahuas in need of homes, and some of their situations are urgent.

If you are able to, re-home your Chihuahua without surrendering them to a rescue, as there are other Chihuahuas who may need the rescue’s help more.

Begin by considering anyone you know personally who has always been partial to your Chihuahua.

If you could trust them to take good care of your dog, ask if they would be interested in adopting your Chihuahua.

Re-homing to a third party

If you will be trying to have your Chihuahua adopted by a third party that you do not know, there are some important guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Always ask for a re-homing fee, as if someone is unwilling to pay it, they are likely not willing to fully commit to caring for your Chihuahua.You could donate the fee to a local dog rescue if you were uncomfortable keeping it.
  • Never hand your Chihuahua to a stranger blindly. Always ask to do a home inspection and see where they will be living. If the potential adopter refuses, this is a red flag.
  • Always ask what veterinarian they plan to use to care for your Chihuahua. If they can answer quickly, they have put thought into caring for the dog properly.
  • NEVER EVER USE CRAIGSLIST. Most dogs re-homed on Craiglist are abused,  used as bait dogs or sold to labs.
  • NEVER EVER ADVERTISE YOUR CHIHUAHUA AS FREE TO GOOD HOME. Dog fighters or owners of large carnivorous animals will be waiting to take your free dog to train their fighting dogs or feed their carnivorous pets.

Surrendering to a rescue

If you were unable to re-home your Chihuahua yourself, begin looking for a rescue to surrender them to using a basic online search for a dog rescue. 

We have a page on this site with rescues listed according to state here: Chihuahua Rescues.

Of course do a google search too as you may find something in your area not on our list.

When considering if you will be surrendering your Chihuahua to a rescue, keep the following in mind:

  • Always ask to see where your Chihuahua will be living while they wait for their new home.
  • Always ask how their general care, nutrition, grooming, and health care will be handled.
  • Ask about the adoption process; if it is strict your Chihuahua is more likely to be adopted by a responsible person who truly wants them.

Animal Shelters
closeup fawn chihuahua behind bars
This should be a last resort. 

The environment of living in a kennel atmosphere is very difficult for them, as they are very social and bonded to people.

The stress of living in that environment can shut down their personalities, or the fear of it can make them snappy, making it more difficult for potential adopters to see why they are amazing.

A private rescue where they would live in a foster home as they wait to find their forever home is best for their mental and emotional needs.


Adopting a Chihuahua can be one of the best decisions you make!

However, you must make sure that you are ready to take on the responsibility of ownership before committing to adopt.

Try not to become emotionally invested before making sure that you can give your Chihuahua a forever home.

Re-homing a Chihuahua can be a very difficult experience.

The kindest thing you can do for your Chihuahua is to do everything you can to help them through this transition emotionally, and to do everything you can to make sure their next home is their forever home.

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Stephanie Roberts

Friday 24th of April 2020

I had my little boy for 3 yr my ex brother in law kill him by tring him witha golden retriever dog that 3time tallerthem my baby


Friday 24th of April 2020

I'm so sorry Stephanie! That's horrible!


Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

My Pink never barked or bit. I took her everywhere. She attended many conventions, went to church and so many other places. After 15ish years she was blind and not easily digest. I hung on to number 12 as long as it was right.


Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

She longs like a wonderful little dog Jack!


Tuesday 7th of April 2020

I am a 71 yr old blind lady, my Chica has been my baby got 11 years now and facing a housing dilemma. I DO NOT want to give her to a shelter as she is very shy until she gets to know you, also an awesome snuggler! What should I do? Thanks, dana


Tuesday 7th of April 2020

What area do you live in Dana?


Saturday 26th of October 2019

LOL, yeah I'd take that cutie in a minute! I struggle with what to do with my dogs if I die before they do. Family members would take Lucas and Ziggy and they would be just fine with them but I don't think Lucy would be.

Dixie Greschuk

Saturday 26th of October 2019

Oh, Rosa is the tiny sweet love and I don't think her life would be good without me. She cuddles up with me in bed at night and feels just like a tiny brown sparrow. It is a question of her being sad and lonely and unsure of her life without me and I do not think my family could handle that and make her happy, so just a couple of seconds with the vet and she would not have to endure that. I am glad you understand the same feeling you and Lucy share. William is devoted to me but he does like to sit with John and follow him around the house and BO and Pinto would be OK. It is a serious matter to think about.

Dixie Greschuk

Saturday 26th of October 2019

Cathy, I just sit here crying tears down my face reading some of the surrender options. I cannot do it. Maybe it is that I am selfish but I have instructed my hub and my son and daughter to put all of my chi babies down when I die. I have had three chis that worshiped me as I worshiped them and now I have Rosa and William and Pinto. Rosa never leaves my side unless I have to go someplace that I cannot bring her. She is my tiny brown sparrow and is completely devoted to me. William would be stronger and Pinto has attached himself to John and BO, so they would be OK. I do not think Rosa would ever recover from losing my attention and love. I do not know anybody who would or knew how to calm and love Rosa through that but one person and that is you, Cathy!!!!

Lanna Case

Tuesday 3rd of March 2020

Please do not put your babies down. Rescues work very hard to find good homes for them because they deserve to live. I foster for Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego County. We do home checks, ask all the right questions and care for these dogs as if they were out own.


Monday 2nd of March 2020

they are very special fur babies. I recently had my 9 yr old go to Heaven and I miss her so much. She was always with me.