Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Early intervention urged to prevent animal hoarding

Bucks County has formed a task force to deal with hoarding. A conference will be held July 28 at Bucks County Community College in Newtown Township.

The signs of animal hoarding visible from outside a home are subtle and intended to hide the horror and dysfunction within.

By the time neighbors or family members recognize the nature of the situation and authorities step in to take action, the problem has already taken its toll on the health and welfare of the occupants or manifested itself in a catastrophe like a fire, said Anne Irwin, executive director of the Bucks County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

A group of animal welfare and health specialists, public safety officials and social workers in Bucks County have come together to identify ways they can intervene in homes where animals are being hoarded before the situation becomes dire.

"By asking all these different stakeholders to come and begin communicating we think we will have at least have begun to work on the depth of the problem," said Irwin, who approached the Bucks County commissioners last summer to suggest the creation of an animal hoarding task force.

"Places that have really tried to tackle this have found that there is no silver bullet. You have to have a multi-pronged approach and communication," Irwin said..." More

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