If you've never heard of the New Guinea Singing Dog (NGSD), don't feel bad -- it is the rarest breed in the world. They could be extinct in the wild because there have been no known sightings in New Guinea since the 1970s. Only 150 of the dogs were known to exist in captivity in the world. That is until last month, when dozens of them were found in Pennsylvania, of all places.
But this is kind of a "good news, bad news" type of thing. While it is good that there are now around 80 more of these dogs, they were being kept by an animal hoarder, and most of them are in pretty bad shape.
Last month an anonymous tip led officials to a property in a small town west of Harrisburg. They found 68 adult NGSD and a number of puppies living in just two dozen kennels. Living conditions were described as deplorable.
Police say the owner, Randy Hammond, obtained his first two NGSD at a flea market in 1995. A man gave him another pair shortly thereafter, and all the dogs found at his property are descendants from those two pairings of singing dogs.
Only two of the dogs were healthy enough to be sent to a new home. Hammond will be allowed to keep ten of them as long as he gets they spayed/neutered. Animal sanctuaries will take the rest.
Unfortunately, because of the high inbreeding of Hammond's dogs, they cannot be used for the captive genetic breeding program to further the breed.
Hammond was cited with various infractions that carry fines of up to $1,100.
By the way, they are called singing dogs because of their unique howls. Watch this video: