In June of 2007, animal control officers in the city of Ashland, California, removed 18 dogs from a shed behind a home within the city limits, acting on an anonymous tip.
Every single one of the dogs were suffering from various stages of extreme neglect. A veterinarian at the Bay Area Animal Hospital said that at least one of the dogs was in the worst shape ever seen of an animal that was still breathing; it later had to be euthanized.
The dogs were all chihuahuas, dachshunds, or chi-weanies. They were thought all to be between ages two and five, though the vet said it was hard to judge the ages of such emaciated animals.
As the woman who owned the dogs awaited charges, the police were trying to decide whether to apply animal neglect laws, or the harsher felony charges of animal abuse.
The woman's only excuse was that she was unable to turn down dogs when a local breeder offered her yet another one. She clearly suffered from the animal hoarding syndrome which inevitably leads to an overwhelmed owner becoming increasingly neglectful.