Thursday, July 9, 2009

A happy ending!

By Deirdre Healy

The morning of May 12 dawned like any other day here in the city of Worcester, with children going to school and people off to work. In one corner of the city, however, a little drama was about to unfold which would touch many lives for years to come. An animal hoarder under court order to remove a large quantity of cats from a third floor apartment was about to be visited by law enforcement and animal control officers to assure compliance with that court order.

Animal hoarders aren’t cruel, mean-spirited people; instead, they usually have some psychological need or dependency which the animals seem to fill. Hoarders keep a higher than usual number of animals without having the ability to properly house or care for them. The animals often suffer from malnourishment, neglect and overcrowding. The health of the people living near or with the hoarder can also suffer, due to the lack of veterinary care the animals receive and the lack of sanitation.

Hoarding knows no social or economic boundaries and can be found in cities, towns or rural areas.

There is no definitive model for what causes people to become animal hoarders or how to identify them, but it may be associated with compulsive behaviors such as obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, addiction, dementia or delusion. This particular Worcester hoarder had been cited on at least two other occasions..."  More