Monday, November 15, 2010

Hoarding pets an illness

By: Marci Kladnik

We have all watched in amazement and abject horror the documentaries about animal hoarding. To the people in these situations, it is a choice they consciously make to take in scores of pets, viewing it as rescuing and protecting, usually filling a gap in their lives. Unfortunately it becomes an obsession and, as money and space shrink, conditions can rapidly become squalid and life-threatening.

Hoarding is an illness. Intentions are benign at first, even good, but develop into unintentional abuse toward the very animals the person professes to love. Blinded by their disease, these people live in denial and are unable to see the true state of their beloved pets.

The situation develops slowly over time so family and friends often miss or do not understand the signs. If someone does finally raise a questioning eye or voice a concern, they are often explained away by the hoarder who then begins to withdraw from society. Eventually even those closest to them are shut out and blocked from the home.

It is this disappearing act and denied access to the premises that deter those who can help, from acting on their suspicions. Only when conditions get so bad or something tragic happens does the situation come to light. It is then graphically splashed all over the news and the public is astounded that this could happen in their town..." More

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