Thursday, March 25, 2010


By: Jen Blood

Animal rescue is, by its very nature, a difficult undertaking. Rampant overpopulation, abuse, and neglect make the act of saving homeless animals a monumental task in the best of situations; lack of education, funding, and appropriate legislation further hamper the efforts of legitimate animal rescues to do this work around the country. As a result, there are many who believe that any effort to help animals is, by its very nature, a good effort. When a so-called rescue hoarder becomes overwhelmed - which is inevitable when one insists on taking in every animal that crosses their path - and disease, malnutrition, starvation, and death are the result, there is often a public outcry against the establishment. Against the local police who did not intercede earlier; against the area shelters that did not recognize the neglect sooner; against family and friends who did not say something about the declining conditions; against the irresponsible pet owners who surrendered their animals.

Against everyone, in short, but the rescue hoarder. A rescue hoarder may have had the best intentions. They may - and probably do - truly love animals. They are, however, also suffering from a serious mental defect. Blaming others for the issue is akin to blaming the bar, the family, and the government when a drunk driver kills someone in a motor vehicle accident. In that case, the blame must lie squarely at the feet of the individual behind the wheel, who had every opportunity to turn down that last drink; put down the keys; call a cab. Alcoholism may be at the root of their problem, but they are still the ones whose actions were of deadly consequence to others, and are thus held responsible for those actions...."