Chihuahuas Chase Championship Title

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Fourth Annual PETCO Unleashed National Chihuahua Races Set for Aug. 31

The PETCO Unleashed championship race will determine whether last year's winner, 3-year-old Maddy of New York City, will retain or lose her title.

Chihuahuas might be the world's smallest breed of dogs, but they sure have huge personalities and are very devoted to their owners, making them a wonderful companion animal

On your bark, get set, go! Chihuahuas from across the country will compete this Labor Day weekend at the fourth annual PETCO Unleashed races, where the winner is crowned ''America's Fastest Chihuahua.'' The tiny racers will be brought together in front of thousands of roaring Chihuahua and baseball fans between innings of a San Diego Padres baseball game at PETCO Park.

The 15 finalists represent Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Orange County (Anaheim), Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. Nearly 2,900 Chihuahuas competed in this year's regional races, making PETCO Unleashed the nation's largest and fastest growing Chihuahua race.

The PETCO Unleashed championship race will determine whether last year's winner, 3-year-old Maddy of New York City, will retain or lose her title. The grand prize winner will receive bragging rights, a trophy, a one-year supply of Royal Canin Chihuahua dog food and a $300 PETCO gift card. Prizes will also be awarded for second and third place.

The finalists from each market are:

  • Boston: Cuppycake, female, 11 months

Pet parents: William and Elizabeth Estlick
Hometown: Mashpee, Mass.

  • Chicago: Bones, male, 4

Pet parents: Brian and Lynn Hitztaler
Hometown: Wonderlake, Ill.

  • Dallas: Cricket, male, 5

Pet parent: Brooke and grandmother Pam Martin
Hometown: Rowlett, Texas

  • Denver: Mia, female, 1

Pet parent: Ruth Stricker
Hometown: Elizabeth, Colo.

  • Houston: Piccolo, male, 1

Pet parent: Minut Sanden
Hometown: The Woodlands, Texas

  • Los Angeles: Tiger, male, 4

Pet parent: Cathy Smith
Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif.
PETCO Unleashed National Champion 2006

  • New York City: Maddy, female, 3

Pet parent: Sue Yee
Hometown: New York City
PETCO Unleashed National Champion 2007

  • Orange County: Mijo, male, 3

Pet parent: Lee and Desiree Crutcher
Hometown: El Cajon, Calif.

  • Orlando: Brownie, female, 2

Pet parent: Ellen Fagan
Hometown: Deltona, Fla.

  • Phoenix: Kahlua, female, 3

Pet parent: Tiffany Di Giacinto
Hometown: Peoria, Ariz.

  • Sacramento: Isabelle, female, 6

Pet parent: Travis Krepelka
Hometown: Boulder Creek, Calif.

  • San Diego: Puka, female, 5

Pet parent: Sara Magruder
Hometown: La Mesa, Calif.

  • San Francisco: Chloe, female, 3

Pet parent: Mel and Katrina Soledad
Hometown: Palo Alto, Calif.

  • Seattle: Pancho Villa, male, 5

Pet parent: Samantha Patrick
Hometown: Lopez Island, Wash.

  • Washington, D.C.: "Poppy" Papageorgio, male, 2

Pet parent: Brande Bidle and Robert Booth
Hometown: Annapolis, Md.

PETCO and race presenting sponsor Royal Canin hold the event to celebrate one of America's favorite breeds of dog and to encourage all animal enthusiasts to consider adoption as a first option when adding a pet to their family.

"Chihuahuas might be the world's smallest breed of dogs, but they sure have huge personalities and are very devoted to their owners, making them a wonderful companion animal," said Greg Seremetis, PETCO director of marketing services. "The PETCO Unleashed race isn't just about which tiny racer wins the gold. It's also about creating an opportunity for pet lovers across the country to learn more about pet adoptions for Chihuahuas and other animals."

About PETCO
PETCO is a privately held specialty retailer that provides products, services and advice that make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. We operate more than 900 stores in 49 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a leading pet products and information destination at http://www.PETCO.com . Our nonprofit organization, The PETCO Foundation, has raised more than $44 million since its inception in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the foundation, we work with and support more than 5,000 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for nearly 300,000 adoptable animals every year.

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Lisa Epstein
PETCO
858-453-7845 +2558
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