Chihuahuas fly from SF to NY to find homes

A Chihuahua rescued dog named "Giganton," the Big Giant in Spanish, looks out from his cage at the Northeast Valley Animal Care Center, in Mission Hills, Calif. on Friday, Dec. 18, 2009. The dog is part of the "Project Flying Chihuahuas,'' a new initiative that transports Chihuahuas to the East Coast for adoption. The program was created in response to the overabundance of the breed in the Los Angeles area and the scarcity of the dog in the Northeast. ((AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes))

January 7, 2010 7:58:10 AM PST
More than a dozen Chihuahuas from San Francisco flew in style to new homes in New York.

The 15 animals travelled in the main cabin of Virgin America flights that left from San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday morning.

Officials from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals met the animals at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to help find them homes.

San Francisco animal control officials say Chihuahuas are in abundance at California animal shelters, but they're in demand in other states like New York.

The dogs will be made available for adoption next week after full medical assessments.

Experts say pop culture is to blame for the overpopulation of the dogs in California, with fans imitating Chihuahua-toting celebrities like Paris Hilton.