In the last month, my local humane association assisted with two large-scale animal rescue efforts. Both were cases of animals being saved from hoarding situations. According to The Humane Society of the United States, animal hoarding is likely a symptom of a psychological or neurological malfunction. In many cases, the hoarder believes they’re helping the animals, when in reality the animals suffer from neglect. Most animal hoarders don’t provide adequate food, veterinary care, or sanitary conditions. HSUS says that 250,000 animals are hoarding victims every year.
In the first case, nearly 70 dogs were pulled from a Green County, IN trailer home. The owners said they planned to open a rescue but were just overwhelmed. The dogs rescued were fed but in poor health with respiratory illnesses, fleas and worms, and days-old puppies suffered from heat stroke.
In the second case, a woman in Kokomo, IN is featured on an episode of the A and E show “Hoarders.” The humane association responded to rescue dozens of cats – including six kittens and seven dead animals – from the home.
“The MCHA is happy to be able to assist in the rescue of these deserving cats while bringing light to the serious issue of animal hoarding,” said Sarah Hayes, MCHA CEO, in a press release regarding the Kokomo case. “This situation highlights the need for strong animal protection ordinances and laws to stop and treat animal hoarding before it become out of control for the animals and the individuals involved.”
Animal hoarding has devastating consequences for the health and safety of the animals and for the hoarders themselves. If you suspect a friend, family member, or neighbor might be hoarding animals, please contact your local humane society or rescue.