There is a new gang that has Phoenix residents in a frenzy.
Packs of small Chihuahuas are said to be running loose and wrecking havoc in Maryvale.
“Yeah a lot of them, they are out here chasing kids or going yard to yard… anywhere in groups of eight to twelve just running around,” resident Ray Rios told My Fox Phoenix.
Officials say last year they received 6,000 calls about stray Chihuahuas in Maryvale, which is twice as many as they get from similar-sized areas. That number is three times as high compared to Chandler and Gilbert.
Maricopa County Animal Care Control said that the underlying issue here is the overpopulation of the miniature sized pets, and residents will have to do their part in order to solve it.
“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,” Melissa Gable of the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control said.
Due to the high volume of calls they receive at a time, Animal Care and Control officials say they cannot patrol the area. They ask residents to do their part.
“If 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,” Gable said. “Because what’s happening is people are calling saying, ‘hey I see a stray’ by the time we get there, it’s long gone.”
Officials say Chihuahuas are one of the most common breeds at the shelter. Maricopa Animal Care and Control says they will spay and neuter dogs at no charge and they plan to visit the area in the summer to provide the service for residents.
Sources: ABC News, My Fox Phoenix