Animal Attraction

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Animal Attraction: Chupacabra mystery solved?

by JONATHAN BETZ / WFAA

khou.com

Posted on July 21, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 21 at 12:02 PM

DECATUR, Texas — The sightings of strange animals suspected to be the mythical chupacabra have puzzled North Texans for months.

But Kathleen Forth calls them pets.

"So I raise chupacabras, I guess," she said.

They're actually dogs — rare, hairless dogs. The Decatur woman has been breeding and showing them for 16 years.

Although some of the chupacabras found in the wild turn out to be sick coyotes, Forth is convinced that ranchers have been shooting at hairless dogs.

"I believe all of those things are deceased Xolos," she said, referring to a breed of hairless Mexican dog. "That's why people are concerned they are the chupacabras, because they've never seen them; they're not used to something like this, and it scares them."

The Xolos may not win any beauty contest, but they're actually quite friendly, and largely harmless.

Mexican hairless dogs are very rare, and certainly unlike any other. "They have a good chin, good look," Forth said. "They look in the distance and they look majestic.

Majestic? Perhaps. But on some ranches, they are certainly not getting the royal treatment.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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