About New Zealand Chihuahua Rescue:

New Zealand Chihuahua Rescue ("NZCR") is a registered Charitable Trust (no. CC55119) founded in 2017, after a need for a rescue dedicated specifically to the re-homing of Chihuahuas and Chihuahua crosses was identified. Although we are based in Christchurch, New Zealand. NZCR operate throughout the entirety of New Zealand. We receive in dogs from local Pounds and other Rescues, private homes,  kennels and breeders. We are a privately run rescue that survives off of donations, sponsorship and fundraising. All of our team members are volunteers and we receive no public funding.

Before being adopted,we ensure that all of our dogs are de-sexed, vaccinated up to date, micro-chipped, registered with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register, registered with the local Council and flea and wormed treated. They also receive any other necessary veterinary care unique to their situation such as dentals, blood screening or specialist surgeries. We ensure that any health issues are corrected or disclosed to prospective Adopters.

As an organization, we also aim to educate the public on our breed, the importance of de-sexing and prevalence of  irresponsible breeding of Chihuahuas.  A couple of our recent adoption or re-homing success stories are found below.

About Our Team:

We have a specialized, caring and dedicated team behind our Rescue to ensure that our dogs are given the best from the moment they come into Trust care. All of our foster carers have experience with dogs of various breeds and sizes. Many also have a background in veterinary nursing, animal behavior, dog psychology and dog training.  Once dogs are placed in care, our foster carers nurse them through any medical procedures required and identify their unique issues. The fosters then set about shaping them into happier, well-adjusted and social pets. 

Our Managing Trustee, Casey and Trust Accountant Alex, are a couple from Christchurch who have a background in dog rescue, having privately rescued and re-homed small breed dogs for a number of years before founding the New Zealand Chihuahua Rescue Trust. Both Casey and Alex are familiar with the breed, having owned many Chihuahuas and Chihuahua-crosses. Casey and Alex are also very active in their local Chihuahua Community.

Our Trust Veterinarian, Dr Tracey Tonkin, BVsc (Hons), practices out of Tram Road Animal Care Services vet clinic in North Canterbury. Dr Tonkin is an expert in the Chihuahua breed and the National Health Liaison Officer for Chihuahuas, reporting directly to DogsNZ (formerly known as the "NZKC"). Dr Tonkin has been involved in showing Chihuahuas throughout New Zealand and was the President of the Dominion Chihuahua Club for a number of years. Dr Tonkin fits her busy veterinary schedule around studying towards a Masters Degree, spending time with her own Chihuahua pack and assisting our Rescue dogs!

Each of our trustees and many of our team members regularly attend animal welfare, behavior and training courses and seminars. Our Trustees and foster carers are all 100% volunteers. They are, however, paid in an abundance of doggy cuddles, gratitude and love!

New Zealand Chihuahua Rescue in the Media:

See below for some articles, television and radio interviews on our Trust. To contact NZCR about media inquiries please use the "contact us" form or email noted above.


The Aims of our Charity:

  • To rescue Chihuahuas from situations of neglect and abuse and place them in suitable foster care arrangements and/or permanent homes. 

  • To collect and re-home Chihuahuas which are unclaimed and due to be euthanized from Council Pounds in the areas in which the Trust is operating. 

  • To provide facilities and resources to assist in the control of the population of unwanted Chihuahuas by de-sexing those placed in the Trust’s care. 

  •  To raise funds for to benefit of Chihuahuas in the care of the Trust, as required. 

  • To prevent, by education or other means, irresponsible breeding and ownership of the breed and educate the public as to how the breed should be best cared for, so that there are less Chihuahuas surrendered to be re-homed. 

We also take in other small or toy breed dogs when we have the capacity to do so. Please contact us to discuss if you require assistance.

What Type of Dogs Do We Help?

Chihuahuas, Chi-crosses and various other toy breeds when we have the capacity to do so! We have assisted full or crossbred Papillons,  Chinese-Crested, Maltese, Pekingese, Griffons and Pomeranians among others. 

There is no age limit, they can be in any medical or mental state. We do not judge former owner's reasons for needing to re-home their dog, it is often out of genuine necessity and selflessness that former owners or Breeders contact us for assistance. 

We pride ourselves on remaining non-judgmental, understanding and discreet for those concerned about their privacy.  We are happy to confidentially assist with finding new homes for dogs. They do not need to appear on our social media or website if this is your preference.

We also offer assistance to Breeders and Dog Exhibitors who wish to re-home their ex-breeding dogs or retired show dogs, into happy pet "retirement" homes. We offer friendly, confidential, assistance to anyone who requires it.

We are not afraid of a challenge and receive in all kinds of dogs. In our view, no situation is too hopeless. We take in dogs who appear feral and work with them to rehabilitate and prepare them for their new forever home. We do not euthanize any dogs for behavioral issues – in fact, we expect them! Any dogs that cannot be safely re-homed will become part of our "forever pack".  

For more information about our organization see the following links:

Facebook Page      |      Facebook Discussion Group     |      Instagram  

To contact us please email: we do not have a physical center at present or a trust phone number to call. Our emails are consistently monitored and you will receive a response within two working days.


54 Dogs

54 Dogs

54 Dogs

Adopted since Dec 2017 as NZCR


1 Dog

54 Dogs

54 Dogs

In "Forever Foster" care with the Trust


12 Dogs

54 Dogs

12 Dogs

Currently in the care of the Trust