Monday, August 30, 2010

Animal hoarding results in tragic consequences

By Jen Gerson

Neighbours usually notice the smell first. An unfathomably wretched ammonia stench seeps into the floors and poisons the frame.

Most times, these homes can't be saved. Neither the people can be helped, nor the animals they collect and breed.

Long brushed off as eccentricity, hoarding behaviours are gaining a new recognition as a unique mental disorder characterized by an almost obsessive accumulation of animals, junk or incomprehensible collections. But when the objects collected are living pets, hoarding can lead to tragic consequences.

Elaine Birchall, an Ottawa-based social worker and hoarding specialist, once walked into a home to find two freezers accumulated with the bodies of 300 cats..." More

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