BROOKSVILLE, Florida -- "It is heartbreaking," says Hernando County Animal Control Supervisor Patrick Pace.
The shelter's workers are overwhelmed by a sudden, devastating loss. Half of the 64 adorable Shih Tzu puppies -- first abandoned in Brooksville, and then nursed back to health at the shelter -- have either died right in front of their eyes or had to be euthanized in the past 48-hours.
Photo Gallery: Dozens of neglected dogs found abandoned
The dogs contracted parvo, a highly contagious, fatal, canine disease.
"It's a swift and unforgiving disease that strikes quickly and deadly," says Pace.