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When 2 Becomes 255
A Michigan man hoards his multiplying Chihuahuas through life and death.
The conditions were so horrible that rescuers had to wear masks to enter the home.

Three weeks ago, Michigan police discovered hundreds of Chihuahuas living in a house covered in urine and feces with garbage piled up to the ceiling. The operation quickly turned into a multi-day rescue that uncovered 105 Chihuahuas, and even more shocking, 150 dogs in freezers who had passed away.

The man who lived in the house, Kenneth Lang, Jr., is now in psychiatric care. Criminal charges are being investigated, but it appears that Lang has an obsessive-compulsive disorder that led him to hoard everything, dogs (dead or alive), garbage, and just about anything else that came into the house.

Sadly, much of the horrible conditions could have been prevented by spaying or neutering. Apparently the 255 dogs are believed to have originated from Lang’s first two dogs. 

Since the discovery, Dearborn Animal Shelter has been working around the clock to give the rescued pups much needed medical care and to help them adjust to the world they’ve been shut out of their entire lives. 

The shelter has received more than 500 applications to adopt the Chihuahuas, which will be matched based on personality among other factors. Moreover, many of these dogs have special social and medical conditions and may take months to be placed into the right homes.

This week, the first 22 Chihuahuas were sent to their forever homes. "These dogs were living under abnormal circumstances and will require a longer learning curve for the most basic of things such as being walked on a leash, or going 'potty' outside,” explains Dearborn Animal Shelter Executive Director Elaine Greene. “Patience will be the key with the new adoptive families."

For more information on the Chihuahuas or to make a donation, visit the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter web site or call 313-943-2697.

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Ed Serecky, Valerie Truax, and Stevie and Frank Cote for the Dearborn Animal Shelter.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Elizabeth Janson | September 1 2009 |

This is truely unbelievable to me for someone to treat living beings with this disrespect and careless-ness....I am one of the lucky residents of Michigan, which with my husband being an electrical engineer for General Motors, has been sucker punched by the bad economy. We have four rescued dogs, some of which are pure bred. PLEASE ADOPT...SAVE A LIFE. As far as I know, not many of these dogs have found great homes, and the adoption fee is steep. GO TO YOU LOCAL RESCUE AND ADOPT TODAY!

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