Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What is "Animal Hoarding?"

by: Kim Thomas

Animal experts say what they discovered yesterday at a Union City home is someone considered an "animal hoarder." Experts say animal hoarding can be considered a mental illness. It affects humans, animals and in many ways the quality of life in a community.

A Union City woman lived inside her home with hundreds of cats. Twenty five of them were found alive. More than 80 were found deceased and wrapped up inside two separate freezers. Animal officials say this is what's called an animal hoarder. A person who has more animals than they can provide food, vet service or sanitary living conditions for. It is a condition that is almost exclusive to older, single women.

"Most all of the situations are excessive in nature, I'm referring to the unsanitary conditions and the totality of the situation, and it can be and appear quite shocking when you encounter it," said Joe Grisanti, The Humane Society of NWPA.

The director of the local humane society says it's excessive, serial behavior, that many professionals still don't entirely understand. As we reported, this wasn't the first time this woman has been discovered hoarding cats. Living and dead cats were taken out of her Erie home in 2003. Officials say this condition can be associated with obsessive compulsive disorder, but with different characteristics.

"What I have noted is a person's inability to really understand or discover that their behavior is abnormal," said Grisanti..." More & video