**Update: July 18, 2016**
Katherine Ting Tiong, the woman charged with keeping 66 dogs (the “Rockville 66”) in her home in terrible conditions, has been sentenced to 16 1/2 years in jail “with all but 180 days suspended and a $1,000 fine. Tiong was ordered supervised probation for three years with mental health services and allowed no pets during that probation period. A restitution hearing will be held at a future date.”
Mr. T the Chihuahua (scroll down for his original story), along with two other dogs from the 66 (Kipling and Watson), are still looking for homes. If you are interested in giving a lot of love to a dog who very much deserves it, please visit the Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center in Derwood, Maryland, or speak with an adoption counsellor by giving them a call at (240) 773-5900.
In the meantime, take a look at some of the lucky pups who have since found their happy homes! Quotes are all from the pups’ adoptive parents.
Kayla. “It turned out that Kayla picked us. From the very beginning it was instant love. She has these incredible soulful eyes that are irresistible. She has yet to meet anyone that doesn’t instantly fall in love with her. And she loves everyone she meets, human or otherwise.”
Chester. “We would all like happy endings to all of these abused dogs and I’d like to say I hope for a happy ending for Chester too. […] This is a very smart boy and I’m proud he chose me to be his guardian and I will do whatever it takes to live up to my role in his life.”
Daisy. “She is a gem and has fit into our household perfectly. She loves going in our backyard to follow the scents of the creatures out there. […] She tried eating a toad and was unpleasantly surprised by the taste, and jumped in the air when she ran into a turtle. Daisy is very smart and loving. We couldn’t be happier with her and we love giving her the life that she deserves.”
Clark. “He adjusted to the family well and became a protector of the girls. Everyone he comes in contact with loves him and says he is adorable. He has stayed at the Petsmart Pet Hotel and even the attendants there love him because they say he is a funny, playful dog.”
Bella. “Bella (aka—Muppet) is the most affectionate and sweetest dog. Despite having a rocky start in life, she is the true depiction of forgiveness, trust and unconditional love. From the first night we brought her home, she has been our cuddlier [sic], our goofball, our love muffin, our foot warmer—she is loved by all and loves all. Bella has a “special wing”… one of her legs did not form properly and is shorter than her other legs. This has never stopped or slowed her down. […] She is not shy and will be the first to try and crawl into your lap and give you sweet Bella kisses—all 60+lbs of her.”
Dandy. “He is my shadow, following me around everywhere. I love him so much. He is such a sweet soul. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to care for and love him, however long he has left.” From the MCASAC Facebook page: [Dandy is a “hospice” case. With severe cancer that cannot be treated, his owner has taken him in to give him love and affection until his time comes]
Fletcher. “Fletcher is doing great. Everyone that meets him says that he’s the most laid back dog that they’ve ever meant [sic]. He’s also an attention hog. If someone is petting him and they stop for even a second, he’ll take his snout and shove it against the person’s hand, as if to say, ‘What the heck! Why’d you stop!?’ He also sleeps A LOT. He loves to sleep with me and can’t get enough of cuddling. All and all, he’s a great dog and extremely low maintenance.”
You can see more of the adopted dogs’ happily ever after photos on the MCASAC Facebook page.
Montgomery County Animal Services Officers found 66 dogs deteriorating in one woman’s “animal rescue,” and almost all of them have since found loving families. One of the little guys who remains has been dubbed “Mr. T”—he’s macho on the outside but has a soft, sweet inside. Think of him like a Tootsie Pop.
He certainly can’t be blamed for approaching the world with caution. Mr. T and his fellow rescues originated from northeast-area shelters before ending up at Forever Homes Animal Rescue, Inc. with Katherine Ting Tiong. And they may still be there, if not for the authorities’ intuition.
Officers arrived at Tiong’s home to follow up on a dog bite incident at an adoption event, where they took note of the condition of the property and realized that quite a few animals resided there. They returned with a warrant the next day (New Year’s Day), according to a representative of the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center (MCASAC), Katherine Zenzano. She tells BarkPost:
[Officers] found the 66 dogs, many living in heavily soiled crates and suffering from a variety of ailments. Numerous dogs had severely matted, urine-soaked fur, overgrown nails, eye and ear infections, and additional untreated illnesses. Three dogs were in such a severe state of medical decline that they were euthanized.
Unfortunately, Mr. T’s experiences led him to develop more complicated behaviors as compared to the other dogs. Zenzano tells us this Chihuahua–Rat Terrier mix has really been put through the wringer—she suspects he was once in a home environment, from which he went to a shelter, then to Tiong’s home, to the Montgomery County Adoption Center in Derwood, Maryland, and finally into foster care.
“This is not a dog that you can just walk up to and put your hands all over and grab and hug and kiss,” she says. “He is going to need a well-suited home that understands that this is a little dog that (as of now) really needs to interact on his own terms in order to feel comfortable.”
Above all, Mr. T needs a family who is willing to take it slow. He’s quite a well-behaved boy: housetrained, sleeps through the night in his crate, has fantastic leash manners, and—luckily—is very food-motivated. A little treat bribery never hurt anyone, right?
When his foster mom comes home, Mr. T goes bonkers, but she knows to take things nice and easy to avoid spooking him. He also lets her know when strangers are near, but once he checks them out and gives the OK they’re good to go. “When out of the pen he will follow [his foster mom] around and when she sits he usually hops onto her lap to snuggle, but again, it’s on his terms,” says Zenzano.
She and everyone else at the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center are eager to close the back cover on the story of the “Rockville 66,” and Mr. T is the last pup to get the family he very much deserves. It will take him some time to grow comfortable in a new home with new people, but if his humans are okay with taking it slow, he promises to give them a chance.
Tiong has since been convicted of animal cruelty against all 66 dogs.
If you’re interested in giving Mr. T a place to spend his forever, please check out his adoption profile and contact MCASAC at (240) 773-5900. He’s waiting for you!