Nearly a Dickensian epic, the ongoing story of Kimi Peck is an extreme example of the angelic and the devilish that that causes pet hoarders, with the best of intentions, to pose as rescuers who become in fact the most irrational of abusers.
No one void of mental problems accumulates dozens of dogs, but the "justification" of performing rescues helps many such individuals pass undetected for a while. And if Kimi believes she is no different from most other do-gooder dog rescuers, well, sad to say, she may not be as far wrong as the rescue community pretends.
Kimi Peck was the screenwriter for the Tatum O'Neal comedy Little Darlings (), written back when she was married to Gregory Peck's son, Stephen. Nowadays she's a famous, which is to say infamous chihuahua hoarder.
Her valiant efforts to be a volunteer rescue organization, and loving caretaker for a few privileged special-needs chihuahuas, is laudatory, and only too bad Kimi is not emotionally up to the broader task of taking care of all her wards as well as she does her special few.
On the "good" side of her ledger (if only she'd restrict herself to caring for a very few chihuahuas), she has taken on dogs that would otherwise have been destroyed. In the very first picture up top we see Chachka, who has gotten excellent attention from Kimi. Chachka was born with only front legs, upon which she can walk quite skillfully.
Among these selected photos you'll also spot twenty-two-year-old Johnny, who is severely disfigured, missing one eye, and needs help swallowing. The pair of photos at the bottom of this page show Kimi with Johnny, together with a second chihuahua, Dolce, who is entirely blind.
When one realizes she's taken to her bosom dogs others would've put down, one can't help but try hard to appreciate and understand her. Yet for many years she has done a great deal of harm while wishing to do good. The law has pursued her and she seems to have the wherewithal to find her way back to unliscensed "rescuing" and inevitable abuse, though rarely the wherewithal to evade the deadly aspects of chihuahua hoarding behavior.
She has accumulated her hundreds of chihuahuas in multiple locations, often unable to part with them to homes where they might've gotten great care with new families. She has attempted to do her best, but with insufficient volunteers assisting, even minimal effective care for so many dogs was not humanly impossible.
Immediately above is a photo of a typical room of dogs trapped day in, day out, in small cages. Drafty rooms means pneumonia, and one volunteer snuck out photographs of dogs lying dead in their unclean cages. Her own veterinarian, before he resigned from serving her, reported conditions for 250 chihuahuas living in "filthy, disease prominant, and despicable conditions."
It was in such a room that one of the chihuahuas abandoned by Madonna died toothless, starving, and with pneumonia, while Kimi during an emotionally bad spell refused to let outsiders help, though more capable rescuers tried and tried to convince her to let them assist.
Her inability to retain the support of veterinarians, who go unpaid, meant that necessary medical attention was overlooked. She continues at a website of her own to make bold claims for her successes, and I've no doubt she means well, but sufficient independent evidence exists (from vets who've seen her animals, from ex-volunteers who couldn't cope with what they saw, and from police and animal control) that it must be concluded that she she should not receive the donations she continuously solicits.
In 2005 she was essentially run out of Burbank which was no longer tolerating her filthy, unliscensed "shelter," then between 2007 and 2009 alone, she was forced by Kern County officials to close five illegal and unhealthy ad hoc shelters. Neighbors throughout her neighborhood have united with complaints about the constant yelping of hundreds of distressed dogs, and the ferocious odors of feces and corpses.
Reading Kimi's excuses and shifting of blame, it often reads as though she has become increasingly paranoid, believing as she does in her angel-of-mercy mission and certain there is no logical reason why liscensed rescue organizations, neighbors, and county prosecutors interfer with her efforts.
She deeply believes in a conspiracy against her and begs for assistance all over the web, getting sufficient hand-outs to pay her mortgages and support her chihuahua hoarding disorder in one place and then another.
Always on the defense, fact is, Kimi turned down the offer of help from a rescue organization called Save Tehachapi's Orphaned Pets (STOP), as the real reason she can't adopt out the chis fast enough is because she can't part with them, not for fosterage, adoption, or better-run rescue organizations. They're hers. She loves them. She can't bare to part with them. And no one, even had they been more fit for the attempt, can possibly care for so many animals well.