BY ALEX CARRIER
People in Central Virginia are talking about the latest incidents involving the seizure of mistreated, malnourished and sick animals.
Three times in the last 2 weeks, law enforcement and animal welfare agencies have visited a farm, a reported puppy-mill and an animal retirement facility because of the alleged abuse, neglect and even death of several animals.
The horrific conditions may come as a surprise to average concerned citizens but these current events only highlight what animal welfare groups have known for decades.
“I don’t know that we are seeing more cases,” explains Deborah Schnackenberg, Vice-President of the Animal Protection Division of the American Society. “I can only talk from our experience. What I think what we are seeing is a lot more public awareness about animal welfare.”
“Not long ago, local jurisdictions only did something when the situation became a public nuisance,” continues Schnackenberg. “The local governments are now becoming much more in tune with what the public is wanting and the public is more aware of the problem and encouraging their officials to do something to protect pets and other animals.”
In at least two of the recent three cases, witnesses involved in the incidents have referred to a little known and even less understood condition called animal hoarding.
In hoarding, people collect and keep items beyond the person’s ability to use, store or care for those items..." More