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Meet the Poster Pup for Backyard Breeding

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Meet the Poster Pup for Backyard Breeding

When I first saw photos of Rosie -– with her needle-nose snout, devastatingly misaligned jaw and teeth, severely bowed legs, and pinky-purple skin with hardly a patch of fur — I figured someone was having fun with Photoshop, morphing a pig and a rat and a dog and some other zany stuff together. It was a startling, even a bit disturbing, but I reasoned that she couldn’t be real.

But as I’d come to find out, Rosie is very real -– a product of backyard breeding and animal hoarding. She may be shocking to look at, but inside she’s a beauty, full of love, intelligence, and an incredible will to live.

Rosie is one of 20 dogs pulled by rescuers from a house in Woodland Hills, Calif., last week. She is the worst of the group, which is saying something, because two other rescued Chihuahuas -– some form of sibling or half-sibling to Rosie — have no front legs at all.

Dogster caught up with the woman who found the dogs and instigated the rescue, as well as Rosie’s new “mom.” We bring you their exclusive story.

Hey, Want a Cute Little Dog or Two — or 20?

Kate Hannah (name changed at her request) was walking her dogs around her neighborhood when she saw a sign reading “Chihuahuas for Free.”

She came back to tell the residents — a woman in her 60s and her thirtysomething daughter — why that was a bad idea. She explained to them about dogfighters who pounce on free or cheap dogs to use as bait dogs, and how dangerous it can be for animals to go to unscreened new homes and owners.

The women told her they had a menagerie of 20 or so tiny pooches they were trying to get rid of. They said the woman’s grandmother started breeding them a few years back, and they “sort of kept things going” when she died a couple of years ago. They said it was more that they let it get out of control, since none of the dogs were spayed or neutered because they couldn’t afford it. So things happened, sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident -– sometimes probably between canine brother and sister, father and daughter or granddaughter, mother and son; you name it.

The hoarders told Hannah that local authorities were pushing them to leave the house before they were forced out through foreclosure. In desperation, they’d found homes for more than 20 dogs the previous week. They were delighted to report that one man had taken a whole litter of young pups — but Hannah felt sick when she thought about their possible fate.

Hannah has been involved in rescue for years, and realized she had to get every dog out of there. She asked to see the dogs, and the women brought them out to the front yard one by one.

See photos of the dogs in this story over at Dogster.

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At Dogster, we believe life is always more meaningful with a dog. Get a daily dose of news, views and cuteness over at Dogster Magazine.

110 comments

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6:27AM PST on Feb 22, 2013

My Chihuahua Sally was dumped in a snow bank in single digit weather January 8,2011.My sister and myself were returning home from her Doctor's appointment(Terry has Cancer) when she spotted Sally curled up in the snow.She stopped and I got out,picking the unconscious dog out of the snow,tucked her inside my coat( A heavy parka I kept from a former Security job) and got back into the Jeep.Sally woke up about half an hour later,shivering and hungry.She had been starved,as she was the boniest,skinniest chihuahua I had ever seen.Adult Chihuahuas do not normally take up with strangers,but Sally took to me immediately.
7 weeks later,we found out that Sally was pregnant,as she was so skinny,that she had shown no sign of expecting puppies.She had 2,Marcie(the runt,about the size of a very small mouse) and Linus(twice Marcie's size).Both puppies thrived and I gave Linus to a family friend whose daughter had wanted a small dog.Marcie just had her 2nd birthday Feb 20 and is still here,along with her mother (Sally) and another small chihuahua/mini Doberman mix named Lucy.(Lucy came from the local animal shelter where she had been placed after being rescued from abusive owners.She has voice box damage.Sounds like a muted baby seal when she barks.).All are real sweethearts.Sally is an older dog(I'm guessing around 8 to 10 now) and Lucy is around 5.I would take in more if I could,but I am disabled( a diabetic amputee) and walking even a short distance is a chore.All are now well taken care

9:07AM PDT on Oct 27, 2012

One of our cats came from a hoarding situation. They suffer psychological damage, too. She is still a bit skittish after 2-1/2 yrs with us. We were able to offer her a room for herself because she was scared of our other cat (who was adopted at the same time from the same shelter). They need love, patience, TIME, and a chance to feel secure.

11:12AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

so frigging sad. what a pitiful dog :/

10:11AM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

When it comes to animals and breeding, most people don't have a frickin' clue about "bettering" the breed. All they see is an easy way to make money. I'm sorry for all the Rosie's in the world.

3:58AM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

It makes me so angry how cruel many humans are :(
And it makes me happy to know there is a lot of "angels" making a difference :-))
Thanks for sharing.

3:38PM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

Glad the story has a nice end

10:07AM PDT on Jul 11, 2012

People are cruel and so misinformed !! Im so glad these four legged angels found love!

4:06PM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

so sad

3:33AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

amazing article, thanks for sharing and hope they all get a loving home :) liked on fb too :)

6:27AM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

I cry every time I read a story like this. The heart of the people must change before stories like this stop being told.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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