Thursday, December 30, 2010

Overwhelmed by too much stuff?

by: Jane Flasch

n covering the story of 150 animals seized from a home in Riga I learned that hoarding of animals is a growing problem in our community. It usually begins with the best intentions - an effort to save, house and feed the animals. Then it spirals out of control.

The animals breed and their numbers grow. The caregiver involved often keeps dozens of animals inside their home to hide the situation, leading to unsanitary and unhealthy conditions for everyone involved.

Lollypop farm gets 4 or 5 of these cases a year but because the behaviors are secretive there are likely many more cases that have gone undetected.

It is such a problem that the Mental Health Association has begun a support group for family members of people with hoarding behaviors of all types. It is part of a new multi-agency task force.

Hoarding is far more common in our community than you may think. Based on a recent survey between 2 and 4 percent of people in the Monroe County suffer from a hoarding disorder. That works out to about 15,000 to 22,000 individuals. The average age is over 60..." More

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