The Search for America’s Fastest Chihuahua Is On: Top Pups Advance to PETCO Unleashed 2007 Championship Race

June 4, 2011

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The Search for America’s Fastest Chihuahua Is On: Top Pups Advance to PETCO Unleashed 2007 Championship Race

San Diego, CA (Vocus) May 5, 2007

They might be America’s smallest breed of dog, but they sure are mighty fast. Nearly 900 Chihuahuas and their cheering pet parents competed Saturday for the chance to be named America’s Fastest Chihuahua in the third annual PETCO Unleashed regional qualifying races. Races were held today in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Chicago, New York and Miami.

The competitors, accompanied by their human family members, raced in heats of 10 along a 1/18th furlong (35-foot-long) track. The winners were awarded a trip to San Diego to race for the coveted title of America’s Fastest Chihuahua in front of cheering crowds between innings of a major league baseball game at PETCO Park, home to the San Diego Padres, on Sept. 2, 2007.

The national race will decide a successor to the current title holder, 3-year-old Tiger from Rosamond, Calif. The winner will earn bragging rights, a trophy, a $ 300 PETCO gift card and a year’s supply of Royal Canin Chihuahua food – approximately 12 times the average Chihuahua’s weight.

The following five winners from Saturday’s events will face off against 10 other regional winners that will be determined in subsequent races to be held over the next two weekends. Regional races will continue Saturday, May 12, in Boston, Phoenix, Anaheim, Calif., San Francisco and Dallas; and on Saturday, May 19, in Seattle, Denver, San Diego, Houston and Washington, D.C.

    Chicago Regional Winner
Name: Chalupa

Age: 8

Sex: Female

Hometown: Hammond, Ind.

Proud Pet Parent: Alfonso Salinas, Jr.

Stats and Facts: Chalupa captured the 2005 title of America’s Fastest Chihuahua, winning the first PETCO Unleashed National Chihuahua Race final in San Diego. She was also Chicagoland’s regional champion in 2006.

The secret of Chalupa’s success: Fritos, which help coax her to the finish line. While in training for the finals, Chalupa stays away from any treats which Al Salinas says helps her stay focused on the finish line. In addition to experience, Chalupa also has seniority, being the oldest among the regional winners so far. She is a grandmother of three. Her daughter, Ivey, clearly takes after her mom placing third in Chicago’s finals this year.

    Los Angeles Regional Winner
Name: Tiger

Age: 3

Sex: Male

Hometown: Rosamond, Calif.

Proud Pet Parent: Cathy Smith

Stats and Facts: Tiger captured the 2006 title of America’s Fastest Chihuahua, winning the second PETCO Unleashed National Chihuahua Race final in San Diego. He was also the San Francisco Bay Area regional champion in 2006.

Basic obedience training and fly ball are the keys to Tiger’s success, according to Cathy Smith. She says they don’t do specific training for the race, but rather work on obedience and focus. The primary point is to keep Tiger’s attention on the finish line. Keenly competitive, Cathy says she is thrilled to have the opportunity for Tiger to defend his national championship title this year.

    Miami Regional Winner
Name: Paco

Age: 4

Sex: Male

Hometown: Boca Raton, Fla.

Proud Pet Parents: Debbie and Dennis Miller

Stats and Facts: Paco, who his proud parents say is definitely his “momma’s boy,” practiced for the race three to four days a week at a local dog park. The exercise paid off when Paco prevailed over nearly 100 other pint-size Chihuahuas at regional races in Miami.

    New York Regional Winner
Name: Maddy

Age: 2

Sex: Female

Hometown: New York

Proud Pet Parent: Sue Yee

Stats and Facts: Maddy made it to the regional finals also last year, but “choked” just before the finish line, Sue says. Over the past year, she did some quick sprints in the park and up the stairs and this year easily won the title of New York’s fastest.

    Sacramento Regional Winner
Name: Tiffany

Age: 2

Sex: Female

Hometown: Elk Grove, Calif.

Proud Pet Parents: Rick and Susan Faiola

Stats and Facts: The Faiolas say that since Tiffany is really attached to Susan, they strategy for the race was to keep the two apart in the hours leading up to Sacramento’s races. Tiffany’s love for her “mommy” was more than enough to sprint over the race distance in a mere 3 seconds winning the title of Sacramento’s fastest.

For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Don Cowan, PETCO (858) 417-5244, donc @

Marta Karpinska-Dean, PETCO (858) 444-5575, martak @


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 850 stores in 49 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a leading pet products and information destination at Our nonprofit organization, The PETCO Foundation, has raised more than $ 36 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 4,200 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for more than 200,000 adoptable animals every year.



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