82 Chihuahuas Now Up For Adoption at Bay County Animal Shelter

By: Vanessa Nguyen
By: Vanessa Nguyen

82 chihuahuas are now up for adoption after a Calhoun County judge granted custody to Bay County Animal Control Thursday.

The Panama City shelter was extremely busy Friday morning as people lined up early to adopt their favorite one.

Authorities seized the dogs last week from a home they called a puppy mill, and arrested the owner, Beth Hall, charging her with animal cruelty.

The adoption process wouldn't have been possible without Friday's hearing.

People lined up as early as 7am at the Bay County Animal shelter just to make sure they didn't miss their chance to own a chihuahua.

Some pulled out lawn chairs and umbrellas to stay comfortable in the hot sun.

Animal Lover Stephanie Cleversey asked her little daughter, Joanie, "what are we here for?"
"A chihuahua."

Families like the Cleverseys prefer small dogs for their two young kids.

Stephanie Redmond already has one chihuahua at home.

"We just decided to get another one so our little Rosie won't be lonely," she says.

Some of the dogs appeared nervous because of all the people.

Animal Control says the community response to the chihuahuas has been tremendous.

"A number of people camped out, waiting for us to open our doors which didn't happen until 10. By ten o'clock, they were down on our sidewalks and out in our parking lots, probably 50-60 people," says Manager Jim Crosby.

A Calhoun County judge cleared the way for the adoptions in a hearing on Thursday.

State's witness, Calhoun County Sheriff's Major Roman Wood, said Beth Hall's house was the worst he's seen in 25 years.

Prosecutor Bob Pell submitted 40 pictures to back-up Wood's claim.

Each picture showed the same thing: a flea infested home filled with layers of feces and urine on the bed and floorboards, algae-covered drinking water, dirty newspapers and rusted crates.

Crosby also told the judge about several animal skulls found on the property.

"The damage to the top of the skull, from my experience both with humans and animals, is most likely a small caliber bullet hole."

Hall admitted she shot and killed some of the dogs.

"By the time I stepped out the door, there she was in the goat pen with two brand new baby goats, she had them by the throat and I saw her kill both of them. And I couldn't take it, later that afternoon, I took her out and shot her, yes sir I did! I put her down quickly and cleanly in the only manner I had available to me."

She also told County Judge Kevin Grover she did the best she could to care for the animals given her physical disability and age.

Grover told Hall he believes she wants to care for the animals, but ruled against her.

"Based off the testimony that I've heard today, I do not believe you have the ability to do that."

Hall's horses and goats will go to the Sheriff's office to be auctioned.

If any of the dogs are left, they'll go to a no-kill rescue shelter.

Crosby says they have adopted 30 chihuahuas so far Friday.


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