Late in 2009, a whopping 79 chihuahua/cocker spanial mixes were rescued from a double wide trailer home near Ocala, Florida. The owner of the dogs, Christine Watson, surrendered the dogs voluntarily to avoid animal abuse charges.
The dogs were filthy, unvaccinated, and the amonia was so thick in the mobile home that animal services workers had to call in Marion County Fire and Rescue's HazMat team to retrieve the neglected dogs.
Shelter volunteers rallied for the sake of the charming "designer dog" crosses. And generally these tales of animal hoarding or puppy mill abuses have happy enough endings when the animals are rescued and given a second chance through adoption. This time, alas, the little dogs tested positive for the highly infectious and deadly parvovirus.
"The Animal Center staff members were deeply saddened," said Wendy Hillyard of Marion County Animal Center. "After the care they put into these dogs overnight, and the great hopes they had for adoption, it's hard to learn that all the dogs are unadoptable due to disease." They all had to be euthenized.