Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Regulating numbers of pets - and animal hoarding prevention

By: Deni Goldman

Many cities and towns have imposed regulations on the numbers of dogs and cats that residents are permitted to have residing in their homes. While there are a few pet owners who feel this is unfair, the majority a pet owners wouldn’t even consider owning more than the commonly allotted number of pets, simply because its too costly to take care of them in excessive number.

Excessive cat ownership is clearly more popular than excessive dog ownership, since most cats are primarily self-sufficient and spend most of their time keeping to themselves, subsisting on their own initiative. Dogs, on the other hand, aside from requiring a managed life, survive and thrive off of their constant involvement with their human counterparts.

In several instances, those who wind up taking care of an abundance of pets, may become ‘hoarders’, when their need to rescue and nurture handfuls of animals, quickly flares out of control. Many find themselves unable to adequately provide health and medical provisions for their pets, causing pets to become ill, remain injured and/or pregnant. Many of these pet owners sacrifice their own provisions in order to care for their furry cohabitants. In situations like this, the health of the entire home faces jeopardy, as diseases may cultivate and pets reproduce, to the point where the owner himself/herself finds that he/she has reached a level of unhealthiness that is perilous to their life and/or the lives of his/her pets.

In most cases, hoarders are true believers that they are helping these animals, even though their inability to adequately care for them is actually abusive.

Cases of animal hoarding are recognized and dealt with quite frequently, often resulting in dozens and sometimes hundreds of pets being rescued, placed into animal shelters and even euthanized due to suffering from illnesses and/or severe neglect. Many of these hoarders themselves wind up in healthcare facilities themselves.

It is for these reasons that animal hoarding is taken so seriously. Caring for a pet takes responsibility – emotional, physical, and financial. Because of this reality, so many cities and towns have imposed regulations on limiting the number of dogs and cats per household. While these regulations vary from jurisdiction, they are relatively similar – and frequently offer special permits and licenses for reasons ‘acceptable’ to house more than the numbers permitted per home (i.e. kennel licenses - dogs)..."  More