Just as the movie 101 Dalmatians encouraged an overpopulation of Dalmatians, the popularization of Chihuahuas through their portrayal in Legally Blonde and as an accessory to Paris Hilton seems to be creating a similar fate for the tiny breed. The Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter (5473 Overpass Rd., 965-7365) currently has close to a dozen of these petite companion dogs. Chihuahuas, like all dogs, need consistency, training, socialization, and an escape-proof environment. They often don’t do well with small children as they tend to nip when they feel threatened or uncertain. Many do best in a calm, adult-only home, where their interactions and routines are more predictable. If you are considering adopting one of these courageous, lively, and saucy pups, drop by the shelter to meet Mijo, Marcie, Ren, or one of the others. A K-9 PALS counselor will help match you with a suitable canine companion.