Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Animal hoarding: when too many is still not enough

Pinal County Animal Care and Control, as a member of the Central Arizona Animal Cruelty Task Force, is partnering to provide a workshop on animal hoarding.

“Animal hoarding is a national problem, and we’ve certainly seen cases here in Pinal County,” said Ruth Stalter, director of Pinal County Animal Care & Control. “One of the worst cases ever was the Apache Junction couple who were attempting to care for 185 animals. We assisted Apache Junction Animal Control in that rescue effort and eventually found homes for all but the sickest animals.”

Hoarding often begins with good intentions, Stalter explained. “Then at some point, this 'I-have-to-save-them-all' mentality kicks in. That’s where the trouble begins.”

Stalter also said that many hoarding situations have a mental health component to them, one reason the October event will feature a presentation by Dr. Philinda Hutchings. Hutchings is Program Director and professor of Clinical Psychology at Midwestern University in Glendale, Ariz.

Other speakers include Kimberley Intino, director of the Human Society of the United States Shelter Services Program. She will give a national perspective and overview of animal hoarding during the morning sessions.

Marsh Myers, director of Community Outreach for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson has served on the Animal Cruelty Task Force of Southern Arizona and will discuss the difficulties of investigating hoarding situations...

Other workshop partners include Against Abuse, Inc. of Casa Grande, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office and Petsmart Charities. There is a registration fee of $65, payable to Against Abuse, Inc. The registration form is posted at www.against-abuse.org/id19.html and at www.pinalcountyaz.gov (you’ll need to select Animal Care and Control from the All County Departments menu)..." More