Sunday, August 8, 2010

Best Friends Magazine: Animal Hoarding

It sounded like heaven on earth for homeless dogs and cats: The Freedom Animal Rescue Ranch, in Victorville, California. In fact, it was more like hell: 230 dogs and 40 cats crammed into a small area that was licensed for no more than 50. When the animals were discovered in 2003, several dogs began a new life at Best Friends, and animal welfare groups in Victorville, California who urgently looked for good homes and shelters that could help out.

Several of the dogs are now beginning a new life here at Best Friends, and animal welfare groups in Victorville, California, are urgently looking for more good homes and shelters that can help out.

The syndrome, known as animal hoarding, is now recognized by the medical profession as a psychiatric disease that's closely related to obsessive compulsive disorder. The trouble is, animal hoarders usually masquerade as "rescuers," describing their homes as "shelters." And in most states, there are no clear laws and penalties to control them...."

Other facts:
  • Up to 2,000 cases of animal hoarding are discovered in the United States every year.
  • The homes of animal hoarders are sometimes in such filthy condition - ankle-deep in rotting waste - that the premises have to be burned down or bulldozed.
  • While hoarders protest their love for animals, the syndrome is considered by psychologists to be not about love, but about control, and is linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • -Hoarders are almost always in a state of complete denial. Typically they may say that "the house is just a little messy" and the animals are fine.

Basic definition of an animal hoarder:
  • It's not a question of the number of animals that defines hoarding, but the way they are kept. According to the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium:
  • Hoarders accumulate a large number of animals.
  • They fail to provide minimal standards of care and even sanitation
  • They fail to act on the deteriorating condition of the animals and their housing
  • They fail to act on the negative impact of their animal collecting on their own health and well-being

Read entire article: here

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