Imagine walking into a home and seeing 180 Yorkie dogs living in deplorable conditions, covered in urine, fleas, and feces. That was the reality for members of the San Diego Humane Society as they walked into a filthy California home this past January.
After originally pleading “not guilty” to animal neglect charges back in March, Christine Calvert, 62-years-old, and Matt Vattimo, 73-years-old, finally pleaded guilty to the charges on Monday. According to ABC Los Angeles, under the terms of the Poway, California couple’s plea agreement, the pair won’t be able to own any animals for 12 years. They will also face 18 months of probation before they can apply to try and have their felonies reduced to misdemeanors. Additionally, the couple will need to attend counseling sessions to ensure that something like this never happens again.
The San Diego Humane Society was alerted by a veterinarian that something wasn’t right in January. On their first attempt to enter the couple’s home, they were rejected. A few days later, Humane Society workers were able to gain access to Calvert and Vattimo’s home and seized 94 Yorkies. Following the initial raid, at least 29 more dogs were found at a restaurant owned by the couple. Later, an additional 50 dogs were taken from a 31-foot motor home that was owned by the couple.
As reported earlier, the Yorkies were found in living in filthy conditions; crammed together in a small space that was covered in urine, feces, and even mice. To add to the horror, most dogs were found in a dark room. These living conditions affected the dogs’ health, with many of them developing conditions such as ear infections, fleas, and extremely matted coats.
When the Humane Society posted photos of the dogs and their living conditions, Facebook users went absolutely crazy, condemning the owners who let things get so out of hand. Some called the owner’s “sick” while others suggested that the couple must have some sort of mental illness. One Facebook user posted a more heartfelt tribute, reminding us that dogs have feelings too.
“Some people are so mean and cruel. How could they treat those babies that way. God didn’t put them on this earth to be mistreated. He put them here to be loved. Dogs have feelings too.”
But the story does have a happy ending for these dogs who endured so much over the course of their existence. Thanks to the San Diego Humane Society and to a ton eager pet owners, all of the Yorkies have since been adopted. In fact, the organization was forced to close the adoption process earlier than they had anticipated after receiving over 1,500 adoption applications, according to NBC San Diego.
What are your thoughts on the owners? Be sure to sound off below in the comments.
[Featured Image by San Diego Humane Society/Facebook]