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In 2008 Lila Peterson became widely known in Bismark, North Dakota, as a harmful chihuahua breeder and possible hoarder. Often animal hoarders are elderly, but Lila was a young attractive woman.

Under press scrutiny she made the effort to part with her beloved but poorly cared for pets, and placed about thirty small dogs in various homes. Chi-hoarding is alas an illness, so the thirty adopted out didn't amount to even the half of them. Eventually the Humane Society confiscated 47 dogs, the majority chihuahuas.

Lila went to court to try to get them back, claiming that she had cared perfectly well for as many as one-hundred chihuahuas. "I just love Chihuahuas," she said. "My dogs are happy dogs." I've seen parents whose children had broken arms and blackened eyes say the same thing.

Sad to say, the evidence that she lacked space for so many dogs was evident in the fact that some that were rescued were malnourished, and had been kept in conditions of stench and filth, their undersized cages stacked up in a basement in total darkness. In 2009 the state Supreme Court gave her a resounding a thumbs-down on getting any of them back.

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