Monday, September 13, 2010

Discussing rescue people and hoarders

By Bev Greco

executive director, Cumberland County SPCA

These days, Americans have a new view of hoarding.

The term didn't mean much to most people until the popularity of reality TV brought all sorts of hoarding situations into our own living rooms.

Animal hoarders, in particular, capture the attention of the public when their stories are brought to light.

I have discussed animal hoarding in other articles, but today's article has to do with those hoarders that represent themselves as rescues.

How do you know if a person or group, representing themselves as a rescue is legitimate?

Pet owners who must give up their animals are desperate to find a safe haven where they can be assured the animal will not be euthanized.

They scan the Internet and the newspapers looking for a person or a rescue group that will provide life in a home environment.

On the flip side of that; there are many people, both individuals and some animal sheltering groups, that take in puppies (usually from southern states, such as Georgia and Kentucky), from rescuers who have saved the animals from nightmarish conditions and sure death.

Both of these situations bring out intense emotions in animal lovers.

Giving up an animal is gut-wrenching, as is seeing a pup, fresh from the edge of death, in desperate need of a home.

And therein lies the problem.

Emotion takes over and common sense takes a backseat.

Many people don't stop to think that they may be getting scammed.

True hoarders don't think they are illegitimate. They don't even recognize that anything is wrong.

I, myself, have been on several hoarding properties where the sanitary conditions were so horrendous that breathing was difficult.

Yet, the owners were oblivious to the overwhelming stench and the buildup of fecal matter.

Those entities supplying animals can be even more illegitimate, seeking to turn a profit off people's emotions.

Two recent incidents in Cumberland County involved puppies being sold in parking lots - one a backyard breeder; the other a self-proclaimed rescuer of puppies from down South..." More

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