When investigators arrived at this Florida home, they found found two teenage boys, their bare feet covered in dog excrement.
But the house was so full of garbage — along with roaches, and other detritus — that they at first discovered fewer than half of the Chihuahuas living in this household.
“The residence was in complete disarray, with dried dog feces and urine covering the entire floor throughout the residence,” according to the police report.
“Animal services called us on Sunday and asked us to take nine Chihuahuas, which we did,” says SPCA of Brevard spokesperson Susan Naylor.
“Afterwards, they found a lot more in the house, so we took most of those, too.”
Tamara Daniels — the boys’ mother, and owner of the Chihuahuas — was arrested and charged with felony child neglect. The boys were sent to live with a relative.
And the Chihuahuas — 24 in all, with a handful of them pregnant — are now also being given a second chance.
Naylor says the dogs — dubbed the Chipolooza Crew — are in surprisingly good shape, considering where they’ve come from.
They do not seem to have major medical problems, and “behaviorally, most are scared, but they are all friendly.”
Four pregnant Chihuahuas are in foster homes now. One of them, whose foster mom is a photographer, was treated to a maternity shoot.
The rest of the crew are still at the shelter — about 50 miles south of Daytona — being given medical care, baths, and TLC, while readied for their next chapters.
They spend their days playing, and “snuggling each other and staff trying to get used to all the changes that have happened in the past few days,” says Naylor.
She’s confident they’ll get there.
“Dogs are innocent. They don’t have a say in what happens to them. It is our job to make sure that any pets in our care get the chance to have the best life possible,” Naylor says. “Only good things for these babies from now on.”
SPCA of Brevard is asking for help with the Chipolooza Crew’s expenses. Here’s where to donate.
And get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an animal story to share.