Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Every year nearly 2 hundred– 50 thousand animals fall victim to a form of animal abuse known as 'pet hoarding'.

These pets typically are housed in poor conditions and their owners tend to believe they've done nothing wrong.

It was not the phone call Shara Remmers was expecting on Tuesday.

"Sally called me and we got a group of us together to go out there and pick them all up," said Remmers, a shelter director at Star of the North Humane Society.

Following a tip, workers from the Star of the North Humane Society of Coleraine went to a home in rural Itasca County. What they found shocked them.

Dozens of cats running around loose outside and inside the abandoned home was even worse.

"They had trashed the house. There was no food, no water. They only left a pile of litter on the floor for the cats, and at least twenty of them were in the house," Remmers said.

Twenty five cats were rescued from that house and taken to the Star of the North shelter in Coleraine.

Humane Society workers say while most of the animals appear to be in relatively good physical condition many will not be able to adapt socially due to abuse.

One of the reasons hoarding is a problem in Itasca County is that there's no law stating how many pets can be at one residence outside city limits.

"That's really problematic when it comes to shelters like ours," said Sally Kaml.

Kaml, board president for the Star of the North Humane Society, says pet hoarding is more common than most people think

"Just this past winter we rescued 25 dogs in Jacobson. And that was just an awful situation they were kept in a barn...cold, everything like that so like I said it's not uncommon up here in the northland to have hoarding situations," Kaml said.

Kaml says it's unfortunate that these hoarders don't take simple precautions with their animals.

"If we had more people spay and neuter we wouldn't have as many hoarding situations like this as we do right now."..." More & video

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