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Goodnight, sweet prince: Billy the dog has died :(

  • Billy the Chihuahua, rescue dog and Internet sensation, passed away due to health complications
  • The story of his puppy mill rescue warmed all of our hearts
Billy the Chihuahua, rescue dog and Internet sensation, passed away due to health complications

Oh, Billy. Our relationship with you was full of tears. First, we cried like babies when we watched your Humane Society rescue video, wherein an animal rights worker saved you from certain doom and adopted you as his own. We cursed the evils of puppy mills and procured fistfuls of tear-stained dollars to help rescues like yourself.

Now, we are crying because, as swiftly as you entered our lives, you are now gone.

The Humane Society recently announced Billy's untimely, but peaceful passing. As it turns out, no amount of love or support could prevent Billy from succumbing to the effects of chronic neglect:

"With heavy hearts, we report that Billy unexpectedly passed away over the holidays," the release read. "Life in a puppy mill wrecked his body, and in the end, he succumbed to complications stemming from years of untreated medical conditions."

If there is one good thing to come out of Billy's passing, it's that Billy's story, no matter how sad, has the potential to remind people of the conditions and consequences of puppy mills.

"At this point, he becomes something of a timeless ambassador for what happens to dogs in puppy mills..." HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle writes. "At the same time, his own happy spirit, despite his travails, reminds us of the capacity of animals to forgive and to love. We, as a species, can learn more than a thing or two from Billy about putting those principles into action."

Steel yourself for Billy's legacy video:

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