Charlie is Dallas Area’s Fastest Chihuahua

Charlie is Named Top Dog at Dallas Regionals; Travels to New York for a Chance to be Named America’s Fastest Chihuahua

DALLAS (Aug. 8, 2009) -  Proving that Texans do everything bigger – even their Chihuahuas – a hearty 8-pound pooch named Charlie won PETCO’s Fifth Annual Chihuahua Races regional event at the Prestonwood PETCO store today, setting his sights on the finals in New York on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009.

Charlie wowed a crowd of approximately 350 spectators, and beat out more than 150 other pint-sized racers with a final speed of 2.3 seconds on the 35-foot-long (1/18th furlong) track. From Fort Worth, Charlie moves on to the finals and a shot at the coveted title of America’s Fastest Chihuahua.

The nearly five-year-old Chihuahua has participated in the races for the past four years, coming in third place in 2006, and second in both 2007 and 2008. Charlie’s pet parent built him a starting gate out of a box to help him train for the races, utilizing his favorite treat as bait. 

“His favorite racing treat is Pup-peroni, but we’re going out for a hamburger to celebrate!” said proud pet parent Karen Carrubba. “We’ll use the same training regimen for New York. Charlie has never been on a plane, so we’re excited to travel.”

In second place behind Charlie was Princess, with pet parent Jessica Nadolski, and rounding out the podium was Hitch, with pet parent Lorrie Duran, in third place.

The Chihuahua Rescue and Transport, one of PETCO’s local adoption partners, was also on site to help raise awareness of Chihuahuas as companion animals, and find loving homes for homeless Chihuahuas.

Charlie and six other regional winners– one pup and two human companions from each regional race market – win an all-expense-paid trip, courtesy of PETCO and JetBlue Airways, New York’s pet friendly hometown airline (jetblue.com/jetpaws), to race head-to-head at the finals in New York City’s Riverside Park at the end of the month.

The grand prize includes a trophy, a $300 PETCO gift card, a year’s supply of Royal Canin Chihuahua food – approximately 12 times the average Chihuahua’s weight – and official bragging rights as America’s Fastest Chihuahua.

Those interested in watching or participating in other regional races or the finals can visit PETCO.com/races  or facebook.com/PETCO for more details and to sign up.

“This year we’re not only racing from the West Coast to the East Coast, we’re also using the races as a way to show people how easy, safe and fulfilling it can be to be ‘on the go’ with our four-legged companions – or how to best arrange for their safe and comfortable care back home while away on vacation,” said PETCO’s Chief Marketing Officer Elisabeth Charles. For more details on how you can travel safely with or without your pet, visit www.petco.com/letsgo.

Chihuahuas are the 12th most popular dog breed in the country, according to the American Kennel Club. They are also considered the smallest and lightest dogs in the world.

In partnership with the PETCO Foundation, the races also highlight PETCO’s Think Adoption First philosophy to help find forever homes for abandoned Chihuahuas and other animals.

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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 950 stores in 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a leading pet products and information destination at PETCO.com. Our nonprofit organization, The PETCO Foundation, has raised more than $50 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 5,700 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for more than 200,000 adoptable animals every year.

Contact:           Lisa Epstein, 858.997.4540, lisae@PETCO.com
                            Courtney Pendleton, 619.237.7722, courtney.pendleton@fleishman.com

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