Thursday, April 30, 2009

Animal Control Seizes More Than 100 Animals

People Line Up To Adopt Seized Chihuahas 

By: Audrey Adair, WMBB

Eighty-two dogs were seized from a Calhoun County home last week and today Bay County Animal Control receives the go ahead to start adopting out the chihuahuas…

Beth Hall, the 59-year-old woman who the dogs were taken from, is charged with felony animal cruelty and 105 misdemeanor charges of animal neglect…More

Judge Gives Bay County Animal Control Ownership Of Seized Dogs 

“… Judge Kevin Grover, ruled in favor of the request by Bay and Calhoun County to take ownership of the dogs and start adopting them out to new homes. Animal control tells News 13 they’ve already received around 250 pre-applications for the dogs…”  More

Apr 29, 2009:  Animal Control Seizes More Than 100 Animals

By: Audrey Adairm,  WMMB

Calhoun County, Fla — What began as an investigation for one horse ends in the seizure of more than 100 animals, 90 of them dogs. When the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office went to check on a report of a malnourished horse. What they found triggered a much bigger investigation…

“Conditions were horrible,” says Bay County Animal Control Director Jim Crosby. “Some of them were in small cages, some of them were in cages off the ground, some of them were living lose, some we caught them under the beds, in book cases, behind things”

Crosby and his team spent the entire day rounding up puppies both inside and outside the property. He continues, “The floor in this residence seems to be saturated in urine and feces.”

Bay County Animal Control found 30 dogs outside on the property, but that number has more then doubled as they continue to pull dogs from inside the house. They found 90 dogs total, all chihuahuas. As well as five horses and 16 goats.

Beth Hall, 59, is charged with one felony count of animal cruelty. However, those charges could soon increase with every animal found. Calhoun County Sheriff David Tatum explains, “I expect that each of the animals that we remove here from this point on, primarily dogs, she will receive a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty.” He says the investigation initially started because of a malnourished horse found on the property but that revealed a much bigger issue. Remains were also found. Sheriff Tatum says, “And it too, appears to have a hole in its skull like perhaps it.. The animal was shot.”…”  More & Video

Animals Seized from Pet, Feed Store

Almost 1,000 animals seized in feed-store raid in Dalworthington Garden

DALWORTHINGTON GARDENS — A police raid on a feed store this week netted about 240 dead animals and more than 700 live animals that were for sale as pets, the Humane Society of North Texas estimated Thursday…

he animals housed at the feed store included dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, rats, mice, ferrets, turtles, lizards, tarantulas and boa constrictors.

The actual number of dead animals was higher, said Tammy Hawley, the Fort Worth-based group’s operations director.

“We were only counting whole carcasses,” she said. “Some of them had been cannibalized by the other animals, so we weren’t able to count those parts.”..  More

Apr 30, 2009:  Animals Seized from Pet, Feed Store

Lari Baragerm My Fox

DALLAS / WORTHINGTON GARDENS, Texas - A local feed store popular with children for its pets was raided Wednesday by the Humane Society of North Texas. FOX 4’s Lari Barager explains what prompted authorities to take the animals and she talked to the store’s owner (Adam Zduniewich of Adams Feed)…  Link

County may shut down High Springs cat shelter

By, TRACEY MCMANUS, Alachua County Today

HIGH SPRINGS, FL – The chorus of purring cats has blended with the routine sounds of High Springs for years, but their song might not be heard much longer.

Haven Acres Pet Sanctuary houses nearly 300 cats on an eight-acre island of county-zoned land surrounded on all sides by High Springs. Steve and Pennie Lefkowitz have been running the pet rescue since 2003 but may no longer be able to operate because of the concerns and complaints of their neighbors.

After the Alachua County Planning Commission’s April 15 vote to deny a permit for the Lefkowitzes to continue operating, the couple will now face the Alachua County Commission in May to hear if they have to close the shelter and disband the cats.

However, the well-being of High Springs residents is not the only matter the County Commission will consider in May. Some say the cat sanctuary is not a shelter but a case of animal hoarding, which ends up putting the throng of animals in an environment of disease, filth and malnutrition.

To Steve Lefkowitz, his shelter saves hundreds of homeless animals from being euthanized every year while helping the community at the same time.

“We arrange for spay and neuter services to people at low cost or no cost, we advise and assist with health and nutrition, and we have even provided food at no cost to those in financial hardship,” Lefkowitz said. “We feel we have provided very valuable services.” ..”  More

Public domain photo

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Theoretical Perspective to Inform Assessment and Treatment

By:  Gary J. Patronek & Jane N. Nathanson 

Abstract:  Animal hoarding is a poorly understood, maladaptive,destructive behavior whose etiology and pathology are only beginning to emerge.  We compare and contrast animal hoarding to the compulsive hoarding of objects and proceed to draw upon attachment of objects and proceed to draw upon attachment trauma, and our own clinical experience to propose a developmental trajectory. Throughout life, there is a persistent struggle to form a functional attachment style and achieve positive social integration.  For some people, particularly those affected by a dysfunctional primary attachment experience in childhood, a protective, comforting relationship with animals may form an indelible imprint.  In adulthood, when human attachment has been chronically problematic, compulsive caregiving of animals can become the primary means of maintaining or building a sense of self.  Improving assessment and treatment of animal hoarders requires attention to contributing psychosocial conditions, while taking into account the centrality of the animals to the hoarder’s identity, self-esteem and sense of control. It is our hope that the information presented will provide a basis upon which clinicians can focus their own counseling style, assessment, and methods of treatment.  More

Experts examine cases of animal hoarding

By Katy Moeller - McClatchy Newspapers

"..."I think of these as little animal concentration camps. It's disturbing," said Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, executive director of the Idaho Humane Society. "The animals suffer horribly."...

...Experts say a common misconception about animal hoarders is that they are people who simply took on too much and fell behind, or got overwhelmed, by the care and feeding of the animals they rescued from certain death.

In reality, hoarders compulsively collect animals and/or allow them to reproduce even as conditions deteriorate. They lack awareness and sympathy for the creatures they inadvertently torture in the name of rescue, said the Boston vet, Dr. Gary Patronek.

"This is not about helping animals at all; it's about helping themselves," he said. "It's about helping fill their own bucket of need through animals." Animal hoarding is believed to be borne of mental illness, but there hasn't been enough study of the problem for medical experts to agree on the underlying causes or possible triggers..."  More

Animal hoarders show behavior patterns

Troubling cases of animal hoarding in Kern County raise questions about who ends up collecting large numbers of animals, and why. There are patterns experts say, and those are reflected in local cases.

Accused of animal cruelty, Cynthia Gudger was finally arrested last October. That was months after her home near Tehachapi was raided, and nearly 50 animals found in what officials called filthy conditions.

In November, eleven horses were rescued from a home in Twin Oaks. Animal control officers said they were badly malnourished, and the owner couldn't take care of them.

In 2003, a Bakersfield apartment was raided, and about 30 cats were found inside. That was Debbie Bracamonte's apartment. She started out with two cats, then took in a neighbor's cat that turned out to be pregnant...." More & video By Carol Ferguson, Eyewitness News

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Animal Rescue Foundation: Dog Hoarding Rescue

The foundation rescues 11 dogs from a hoarder in Mobile, Alabama.

You tube video:  here   (Video is without sound)

Bloggers note:  Donations are requested by the foundation for help with the care of the dogs rescued.  It is our suggestion that prior to sending a donation to any person or organization, that you investigate them throughly.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Compulsive hoarding

Compulsive hoarding (or pathological hoarding) is the acquisition of, and failure to use or discard, such a large number of seemingly useless possessions that it causes significant clutter and impairment to basic living activities such as mobility, cooking, cleaning, showering or sleeping. A person who engages in compulsive hoarding is commonly said to be a "pack rat", in reference to that animal's apparent fondness for material objects.

It is not clear whether compulsive hoarding is a condition in itself, or simply a symptom of other related conditions. Several studies have reported a correlation between hoarding and the presence and/or severity ofobsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Hoarding behaviour is also related to obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). Hoarding unnecessary possessions may be referred to as syllogomania or disposophobia..."  More

How to know if you're a compulsive hoarder

By Eric Adler, McClatchy Newspapers

Barely a decade ago, most researchers considered compulsive hoarding a sub-symptom of other disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder or — because a lot of hoarders find themselves compelled to shop — an impulse-control disorder. Hoarding is also seen in some people with dementia, schizophrenia and other organic brain disorders. More and more, scientists are also coming to think of compulsive hoarding as a unique syndrome of its own.

Compulsive hoarders are defined by three characteristics:

They acquire, or fail to discard, numerous possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value. That includes stuff that most people would toss away, or even free stuff such as newspapers or advertisements...  More

Field Guide to The Pack Rat: Closet Cases

Hard times can awaken the hoarder within. Your trash is my treasure. 

Psychology Today Magazine By: Elizabeth Svoboda

For more than 30 years, Ange Aguirre rarely got rid of anything. From elementary school on, she squirreled away her possessions in boxes and corners, and when she married at 19, she took it all with her—from the third-grade math work sheets to the letter jacket to the teddy bear she'd been given the day she was born. "I was on my high school drill team, and I had every gift that was ever given to me during a football game," says Aguirre, now 39 and living near San Diego. "I had notes people had written to me when I was in the seventh grade."

Like layers of sediment, Aguirre's belongings piled higher and higher over time, teetering in unwieldy stacks and choking off access to closet shelves. But it wasn't until she and her husband were preparing to move across the country to California that she admitted her tendency to hoard was affecting her life. "We have eight children, and things were getting crowded with their toys and belongings," she says. "I had to do something about it." But when she resolved to tackle the mountain of stuff, her attachment to cherished items got in the way of her judgment, making it almost physically painful to trash them. "They were something to hold on to when the days got tough, to bring me back to a good time in my life."...  More

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Too many animals

Hoarding is becoming an increasingly troublesome trend 

Albany police, humane society workers, a reporter and a photographer stood on a sidewalk along Santiam Road on a cold weekday morning awhile ago, all struck by the strong stench coming from inside a small house whose doors and windows were shut...

“Until recently, as a society, we just used to chalk hoarders up as the endearing, crazy cat lady down the street, totally ignoring that these are people with serious mental health problems, and they are people inflicting suffering on a number of animals at one time,” ...  More

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What turns pet owners into animal hoarders

It's likely a mental illness rather than an overabundance of affection

Idaho Statesman BY KATY MOELLER

On the outside, their houses and shelters may appear to be havens for dozens or hundreds of homeless and unwanted companion pets and other animals.

On the inside, the conditions are often horrific: Urine-soaked and feces-covered floors. Sick and diseased animals living on top of one another and among the carcasses of the dead. In some cases, the animals are so desperate they eat each other alive.

Why would people who profess to love animals so much keep them in such deplorable conditions?

Researchers say there are more than 2,000 new cases of animal hoarding reported each year in the United States. Analysis of a national database of animal cruelty shows a five-fold increase in reported cases from 2000 to 2006, according to a Boston veterinarian who has studied the problem for 20 years..."  More

Article includes an interview with Celeste Killeen author of "Animal Hoarding:  Barbara Erickson and her 552 Dogs" and additional information on "How to Spot a Hoarder" and "How to Prevent Animal Hoarding"

Friday, April 3, 2009

Documentary:  My Mother's Garden to air on MSNBC

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