Thursday, September 16, 2010

Which Came First: the Rescuer or the Hoarder?

By Stephanie Feldstein

he Associated Press recently reported that "rescues and shelters now make up a quarter of the estimated 6,000 new hoarding cases reported in the U.S. each year."

Taking in 7,000 cats over a 14-month period and only adopting out 23 of them is not rescue. Never was. That's hoarding.

The AP described that case of Tiger Ranch Cat Sanctuary as "one of an increasing number of self-proclaimed rescuers who have become animal hoarders running legal and often nonprofit charities." They got the self-proclaimed part right, but Linda Bruno was a hoarder long before she became a so-called rescuer.

Saying that 25 percent of "animal hoarders were rescuers" misleads people into thinking that hoarding is something like food poisoning that can happen to anyone, anytime. In reality, it's more like alcoholism, an addiction that's scratching at the surface even when a person appears to be under control.

Everyone who has been involved in rescue has said yes at some point to an animal who had nowhere else to go, when they probably should have said no. But hoarding isn't having more than the average number of animals or temporarily being over your personal capacity. Hoarding a complex psychological issue with unfathomably tragic consequences for the animals. It's not a case of someone just "getting in over their head.".." More

No comments: