An unforgettable RSPCA rescue from last April became public knowledge after recently appearing on the British TV program The Dog Rescuers on Channel 5.
The rescue mission didn’t involve just one needy dog, but 82. According to the RSPCA, the animal welfare organization sent out inspector Herchy Boal after receiving several concerning calls from the authorities about the state of a home in Birmingham, England, that belonged to a recently deceased woman.
“The officers asked us for help with around 30 dogs but I was busy dealing with another emergency elsewhere,” Boal recounted in an RSPCA press release. “When they called me again a few hours later they were extremely concerned about the conditions they had found the dogs in, claiming they believed there were actually in excess of 40 small breeds.”
When Boal got to the scene and started taking a tally, she found not 40 Chihuahuas but 82.
“They literally started appearing from everywhere. We would move the washing machine and suddenly there’d be six faces looking at you. It was incredible where they were able to hide,” Boal said of her inspection.
Finding those 82 dogs was no easy task, since the house “looked like an earthquake had hit it” and was “chaotic and dirty” said Boal.
“We called out a vet who said the house was too hazardous and the dogs couldn’t stay there, it was filthy and cramped. They were all hiding; barking and snapping at us,” she added.
All of the dogs were taken to Newbrook Farm Animal Hospital, where they received check ups, grooming sessions and treatment for burns and fleas.
Boal and the RSPCA, with help from the local police, later discovered that the woman who used to live in the home started with two pet Chihuahuas, a male and a female, and neglected to spay and neuter them. Two Chihuahuas quickly turned into the 82 Boal discovered.
“This was a classic hoarding situation but it was clear the couple had loved their dogs and things had simply got out of hand,” Boal said.
The inspector and others from the RSPCA helped the husband of the dog owner renovate and clean his home, and later returned four of the 82 Chihuahuas, now all neutered or spayed, to the man. The other 78 animals were rehomed.
“I really hope we can use this story to make it clear why it’s so important to neuter your pets, not only to avoid unwanted litters but also to avoid inbreeding which can result in serious health and behavior problems in puppies,” Boal added.