San Diego couple plead guilty to hoarding 170 Yorkshire terriers

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In Poway, California a couple pleaded guilty to hoarding more than 170 Yorkshire terriers  and Yorkie mixes in their home. Christine Calvert and Mark Vattimo pleaded guilty to felony animal abuse charges on Monday. According to AbcNews, Vattimo, 72, and Clavert, 62, will be placed on probation for the three years and banned from owning or keeping any pets for the next ten years.

In addition, the defendants will agree to undergo counseling and are required to transfer title of their 31-foot motor home to the San Diego Humane Society as restitution in the case. When investigators entered the couple’s home in January, they discovered 94 dogs living in a dark room. The floors and walls were covered in feces and urine; the dogs suffered a variety of physical problems including flea infestation, worms, ear and dental infections and matted coats.

A few days later, 30 dogs were seized from another location, and then an additional 46 dogs were found in a motor home located in Primm, Nevada where Calvert had tried to flee to avoid arrest. There has never been any definitive answers as to why the couple had so many dogs, but it is thought they just became overwhelmed and never reached out for help.

(Photo of Yorkshire terriers via Facebook and the San Diego Humane Society)

Most of the dogs have since been adopted.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

Read the heartwarming rescue of a frightened dog that jumped into Lake Michigan.


15 replies
  1. Cynthia Como says:

    INSANITY!! Complete INSANITY!! I think they got off easy! Now I hope they do periodic checks on these two loons to make remain animal free!! My heart breaks for these little survivors!

  2. Tracy Whitcomb says:

    Why the HELL are they NOT being charged???? This is TERRIBLE!!!! They should be charged with this. They will continue to do this no matter what you do!!!

  3. Barkley's Mom says:

    They became “overwhelmed” may be had they spayed and neutered their pets this wouldn’t have happened!

  4. audrey says:

    Holy shit look at them all! Curious how many survived. Thankful this couple was caught. I recall this story several months back.

  5. ellen cottone says:

    Wheres the line start. how many are coming to the east coast for adoption? bring them all up here. We will publicise an event for a week while you have them pre screened. they can be vetted up here. the adopters will pay for the spay , chipping and shots. These dogs are going to be terrified since they have never seen the light of day. You dont have enough adopters or fosters there on the West coast. We can adopt them out quickly here in ny.

    • ellen cottone says:

      I speak for long island NY
      On long Island,
      The Next big thing is small dog ownership. Its we who have the glut of aging baby boomers whos grown children have moved off and vets and new elders have the room , energy , love for a small companion medicinal pet.I can get them all adopted and into the hands who need them .
      step one they will all start training and become registered companion animals. to apt/ condo dwellers and in the hands of VFWs ,Elderly and who ever needs them.
      It Is the cheaper smarter solution’s in the treatment of boredom, addiction and post traumatic stress syndrome. let us have them all. we can test the waters with the new wave of jobbing dog talent as opposed to tragedy of euthanizing over population.
      What are you waiting for they are all traumatized dogs and they themselves must Not Linger in dog shelters. they need to be placed into loving wanting hands Immediately.
      Dogs in large scale hording situations are another form of a feral animal and must be separated individually and socialized with their own new human immediately.
      or they will stay feral and mistakenly deemed adoptable. bring them here to our vet techs and no kill shelters. Poway, California.
      And you can get back to all your good work

  6. pennysdachshund says:

    These Little Guys were LUCKY ::: It appears the Rescue Organizations were REALLY on top of it as The article STATES that Most have already been adopted…. That is awesome in itself… These two Senior’s were totally :out of control: I just can’t understand why the neighbors or a meter reader , mailman , didn’t turn them in to authorities!!! they didn’t look starved or physically abused , but the health care would have been totally impossible to manage…. thankfully they are now safe….

  7. Pamela Bolton says:

    I have wanted one of these dogs for years and they do this to them!!! They should be taken out and whipped. Damn HUMANS.

  8. Nancy Raymond says:

    Another couple of animal abusers who got NO punishment whatsoever – probation will not stop these two from accumulating animals again – exactly what was this judge thinking – or rather, not thinking. These two idiots will just move and start all over again. They SHOULD both be sitting in jail – but no-o-o – they are free to do this all over again. These poor dogs are victims and some will never find homes.

    • Donna Agripino says:

      My thoughts as well Nancy. How ridiculous that they took the motor home as restitution, are you kidding me? They found 46 dogs inside it, who the hell would buy a giant litter box on wheels? Can you imagine the stench? They should be in jail! NO probation!! That judge needs his ass kicked. They will never get the mental help they need and they will just start over somewhere else. Give me a break!

  9. Sherry says:

    Sooo many victims here and prayers out to them for their recovery. But, why only a three year ban on owning animals, this should be a lifetime ban. This is another joke carried out by our justice or “lack of justice” system. Infuriating!


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