Sunday, August 8, 2010

Animal hoarding taxing Montco shelters' resources


In May, Linda Muchnick, of Towamencin, was found not guilty by reason of insanity of multiple counts of animal cruelty and attempted cruelty. In August 2009, Muchnick poisoned 12 of 29 cats and attempted to poison herself inside her East Bishopwood Boulevard home. She is now fighting in court to have the remaining felines returned to her.

In June of this year, authorities found 37 dead cats inside the home of Patricia Wiehler of Whitpain. The cats died from starvation; most of them resorted to cannibalism to stay alive. Wiehler faces potential prison time on 37 counts of animal cruelty.

Recently, 59 cats and kittens and 18 roosters and chickens were seized from two homes owned by an elderly couple from Lower Providence.

In all of these cases, the causes are related to a local and national problem — animal hoarding.

“We’ve had our fair share of it in the last couple of years,” said Montgomery County SPCA Executive Director Carmen Ronio, “but this year in particular we have been hit hard by the number of animals we either had to have involuntarily surrendered to us by seizing or voluntarily surrendered to us.”

Ronio called animal hoarding “an illness.”..." More

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