Almost as soon as the York County SPCA got six of the approximately 200 Chihuahuas removed from a hoarding situation in Benton, Columbia County, last week, they were adopted by people eager to rescue the tiny companions.
Melissa Smith, executive director of the York County SPCA, said six Chihuahuas arrived Friday night in relatively good health and were spayed and neutered. Then, Saturday morning, after already being flooded by requests, there was a line at the door of the SPCA to adopt the Chihuahuas, Smith said.
The reddish-brown dogs, three males and three females and all likely under 3 years old, were adopted by the end of the day Saturday.
"We weren't even going to put them up for adoption yet. But there was so much response," Smith said. The state Agriculture Department said last week that dog wards and state police used a search warrant to investigate the Columbia County home after getting numerous tips. Animal cruelty charges are expected against the owners, as many sick and dead dogs were found in what officials are calling an "animal hoarding" situation.
Smith said, though, the six they got were in fine health and were even socialized.
"They were surprisingly fantastic. They were affectionate, they were loving. It took literally minutes for them to warm up," Smith said.
In most hoarding situations, animals don't get individual attention or care, so these Chihuahuas were in better shape than expected. Smith said she didn't know the fate of the other dogs that have since been sent to various shelters around the region.
Smith added the SPCA regularly gets Chihuahuas, so anyone interested in the breed adopting can simply stop by.
Meanwhile, police are still waiting for someone to step forward with information about another dog in the SPCA's care, Honey. The pit bull was found in dire condition in early July, and the Humane Society of the United States has offered a $5,000 reward for anyone with knowledge of the situation. Animal control officers believe Honey was a victim of dog fighting, as she had injuries to her head, face and legs. She's expected to make a full recovery.
Tipsters can remain anonymous and can call the Humane Society, the local SPCA or York City Police.
- Reach Andrew Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org