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California officially over-Chihuahua'd

California has more Chihuahuas than it can handle and it's pointing the finger at Hollywood, the AP reports.

There are so many Chihuahuas at shelters in Oakland, they have started shipping the dogs out of state. They have sent about 100 to Washington, Oregon and Arizona.

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Chihuahuas make up 30 percent or more of the dog populations at many California shelters. And experts say pop culture is to blame, with fans immitating Chihuahua-toting celebrities like Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus, then abandoning the dogs. Also, the breed's popularity in movies like "Beverly Hills Chihuahua."

The problem appears to be specific to California — shelters elsewhere would love to share the wealth, said Gail Buchwald, senior vice president overseeing the ASPCA adoption center in New York City.

Chihuahuas are the most popular breed of dog in Los Angeles, so it makes sense it is the most abandoned breed, said Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles. In Oakland, some days, they get 10 of the 5-pound dogs a day.

The problem is so bad that shelters all over California that were built for big dogs had to remodel to accommodate the little guys.

At top: Dog owners and animal control workers show off Chihuahuas that have deluged the Bay Area's animal shelters at the Animal Control and Care center in San Francisco on Wednesday. (AP Photos/Russel A. Daniels). At right, an adopted Chihuahua, James Bond, rests his head.

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