140 Shih Tzus Are Rescued In Massive Hoarding Case, One Month Later They Get Their Day In Court

by Amy Paige
Amy is the Director of Trending Content at LittleThings. After graduating from Florida State University with a creative writing degree, she moved straight to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. She loves discovering and sharing viral videos, watching movies with her Muppet-like poodle mix named Cali, and doing the robot whenever possible.

In May 2019, authorities received an anonymous tip in regards to a mansion situated in a gated community within the beautiful foothills of Orange County, California.

The caller tipped off police to the married couple who lived there. The multistory home belonged to attorney Edward Reitkopp and Republican political activist Jo Reitkopp.

This tip led police to believe the Reitkopps had been hoarding animals, but it wasn’t until they responded to the call that they realized the extent of this horrendous problem.

Upon opening the front door, authorities smelled the strong stench of urine and feces.

They ended up seizing more than 140 small-breed dogs — mostly shih tzus of all ages — who were filthy, ill, starving, and inbred.

This was a massive hoarding situation.

The mansion was deemed unlivable, the dogs were seized, and the Reitkopps were cited for animal cruelty.

As the case made national news, animal lovers banded together to provide food, supplies, and other donations. And there was such an overwhelming demand to adopt the pups that the application process needed to be halted!

However, most of the dogs were still recovering from their ordeal and not yet well enough to be cleared for adoption.

Then, one month after the seizure, Orange County supervisors held their usual meeting at the courthouse. Only this time, they weren’t there to talk politics.

The supervisors walked into the courtroom carrying some of the 140 dogs, snuggled up in orange blankets, before making a very special announcement.

Looks like these amazing animals are getting their day in court.

If you would like more information on adopting these shih tzus, please visit OC Animal Care.

Footage provided by KTLA

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