Too bad this event from April 1, 2010, wasn't an April Fools joke. The two chihuahuas above, eyes clouded with cataracts, were among the 80 dogs (mostly Yorkshire terriers and chihuahuas, plus 13 cats) crowded into a small single-wide trailer house near Fredericksburg, Virginia.
In the small kitchen, dogs were stacked one atop another in crates. The smallest of the small dogs were let to run free through the trailer and had found spaces for themselves wherever they could, under the sofa, in cabinets, under their owner's bed.
The woman who lived with her menagerie in the trailer meant these animals no harm, and did the best she could, which just happened not to be very good.
In a moment of lucidity she called animal control and reported herself, voluntarily giving up the majority of her animals. More people with this animal-hoarding disorder should come to this moment of realization that they are ill and must seek help.
The understaffed Norfolk SPCA immediately took in the dogs, made them comfortable, and attended to for their sundry medical problems.
Some of the dogs became deliriously happy merely to have water bowls of their own, and plenty to drink without fighting for their portion. Others remained traumatized and fearful.
Some of the dogs couldn't be offered for adoption soon, as several were very sick, some with tumors and cataracts or completely blind. They were all flea infested and the chihuahuas in particular had difficulty eating regular food, some of them having lost the majority of their lower teeth.
But fortunately toy breeds are easily re-homed, unlike large breeds the majority of are put down as unwanted by anyone. The lives of these little dogs, at least, will soon be looking up.