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Meet the Poster Pup for Backyard Breeding

It may seem preposterous, but Hannah says the women seemed to genuinely care about the dogs, giving their names, telling about their personalities, and snuggling them like babies. She said that it isn’t uncommon that hoarders love their animals, albeit in a highly irresponsible way.

The women said they wanted to make sure the dogs didn’t wind up in cages at shelters, because they were used to running free at home. They couldn’t bear thinking of the dogs perishing in cages, or, worse yet, being euthanized if no homes could be found.

The dogs were mostly Chihuahuas, and most had terrible flea problems. Some were underweight, but they seemed generally in good health.

But there was Conner, a 13-year-old Bichon mix who was so badly matted that even his eyes were covered with fur. Hannah took him to a groomer later and had him shaved down. She later learned that he was both blind and deaf.

Two of the dogs the women showed her had been born without front legs — not an uncommon trait in bad breeding practices. Still, they managed to move pretty well, even scooting quickly at times, and seemed in good spirits.

There was still one dog the women didn’t want to show Hannah. “You don’t want to see her,” she says they told her. But she insisted. “Prepare yourself,” they told her as they went inside to get the last dog.

The Shock of Rosie

Despite Hannah’s long history of animal rescue, nothing could have prepared her for Rosie. “I was in a complete state of shock,” she says. “But I didn’t show it. I needed to get her out of there and didn’t want anything to prevent this.”

In addition to all the deformities described at the start of this article, Rosie’s bulging light-blue eyes have permanently dilated pupils, adding to her strange appearance, and probably causing her a great deal of discomfort in bright light. If you ever got your pupils dilated for an eye exam and left the doctor’s office without sunglasses, you’ll know the blinding, distorted sensation.

Continue reading this story over at Dogster. (It has a happy ending, thank goodness.)

Get more info on Rosie and all of the rescued dogs here.

About the Author: Maria Goodavage is a contributing editor for Dogster Magazine. She is also the author of Soldier Dogs, a NYT Bestseller.

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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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