Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trash Menagerie: Inside the secret world of animal hoarders

By Lynn Tryba

Animal-rescue workers have seen it all: the ritual storage of pet carcasses in basements and freezers; feces and garbage piled so high that occupants can barely get from room to room.

The homes of animal hoarders - -people who accumulate large numbers of animals and often fail to care for them properly -- reflect a reality seemingly unknown to the public: This eccentric behavior may in fact be a mental illness.

"Animal hoarding is a human problem as much as it is an animal problem," says Gary Patronek, V.M.D., president of the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC), a joint venture of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and schools including Harvard Medical School and Tufts University. "Unfortunately, it's been dealt with almost exclusively as an animal problem."..." More

Researchers say hoarding knowledge and treatment are limited

Lisa Hanson, of Oklahoma City, figures she has spent thousands of hours dredging through slime and filth as she cleaned her mother's little house of horrors.

Cleaning up after a hoarder has accumulated stuff for two decades can be tiring, depressing work. An
Oklahoma City woman who has been cleaning and organizing her mother's house had to paw through indescribable filth and clutter..." More & video

Hoarding pets an illness

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

Saturday, October 23, 2010

St. Ursula student gains recognition for book about overcoming OCD

Bethany Hofstetter

Kathleen Dunn's green notebook is full of story ideas and her writings — now one of those stories is getting national attention.

Kathleen, 10, won the silver medal for children's book authors from the Military Writers Society of America for her book "The ABCs of OCD."

Kathleen, now a fifth-grader at St. Ursula School, wrote the book two years ago while she was working to overcome her obsessive compulsive disorder and dedicated the book to her army veteran grandfathers who both died the fall she finished her book.

"My one (grandfather) had OCD, and he always would check his tools and count steps and the berries he picked. He had OCD, and I was really close to him," Kathleen explains about why she dedicated the book to her grandfathers.

The book takes each letter of the alphabet and explains OCD or gives a positive message related to the disorder. "A is for always doing it again! B is for you can get better from your OCD!".." More

Animal hoarders often imagine selves as 'protective'


It is a cruel paradox.

Animal hoarders, some of the most prolific perpetrators of shocking animal neglect, are people who think of themselves as animal lovers, according to experts in psychology and animal advocacy.

In 2006, domestic animal services officials in Collier County, Fla., seized 31 cats, two rabbits, two dogs and a bird from the home of a woman in a classic animal hoarding case.

According to the DAS report, most of the animals were underfed and sick, the floors were littered with animal waste, and the ammonia smell from cat urine was so overwhelming the investigator described a burning feeling in her eyes and lungs. Yet officials said the owner grossly underestimated the disaster her house had become and the danger to her cats.

The cats, she told an investigator, were her life. She threatened suicide if she were parted from them.

In September in Collier County, a judge banned another woman, Tina Ciancaglini, from owning horses again after DAS officials reported she had consistently taken in more horses than she could feed. They found 34 were malnourished.

Researchers of animal hoarding say dealing with the problem is not as simple as freeing the animals and punishing the perpetrators. Hoarding is a behavioral disorder, not necessarily intentional criminal neglect..." More

Animals seized from Wawarsing man with cruelty record

The Ulster County SPCA on Thursday seized more than two dozen rabbits from a man previously charged with animal cruelty.

Brian Shapiro, executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said investigators removed 26 rabbits Thursday morning from the home of Juan “Victor” Caniglia at 18 Foordmore Road in Wawarsing.

Shapiro said Caniglia was charged by SPCA investigators last December after authorities discovered nearly 100 neglected exotic birds and three rabbits in a small outdoor shed at his home.

In that case, Caniglia pleaded guilty earlier this month in Wawarsing Town Court to one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty under New York’s Agriculture and Markets Law and was fined $2,200. The court also ordered Caniglia not to own or possess any birds or rabbits.

Shapiro said Thursday’s inspection of Caniglia’s property found the rabbits living in filthy conditions and that some of them were in very poor health..." More

OCD linked to common childhood illness

A new study at the Tel Aviv University suggests that strep throat - a common infection in children - can lead to brain dysfunction and OCD.

Prof. Daphna Joel and her team of researchers have scientifically demonstrated that strep throat can lead to problems with a child's heart, joints or brain if left untreated. And when the brain is involved, motor and mental functioning may be compromised, leading to syndromes such as attention deficit disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

The team developed a new animal model to show how exposure to strep affects the brain and leads to a number of physical and mental ailments.

Comparing them to a strep-free control group, Prof. Joel measured a distinct difference in behavior in the strep-exposed animals.

The results showed that those exposed developed balance and coordination difficulties, as well as compulsive behaviors such as increased and repetitive grooming.

This breakthrough finding could lead to new modes of diagnosis of the disease and provide a new platform for drug developers seeking to treat or cure OCD..." More

Whisker Connection assists in animal hoarding situation

By George Breithaupt

The efforts of a local feline advocate group, Whisker Connection, to assist in an animal hoarding situation in southern Ohio will be featured on an upcoming episode of Animal Planet.

Whisker Connection was contacted by a producer from the Animal Planet program “Confessions: Animal Hoarding.” They asked Whisker Connection for help with a hoarding case in southern Ohio involving more than 85 cats.

The local humane society and Animal Planet representatives initially removed about 20 cats from the house with the owner’s permission.

Ten of those 20 cats had to be euthanized for severe malnutrition and non-contagious illness.

“Animal Planet contacted us through our website,” said Tara Smith of Whisker Connections. “They contacted us about a hoarding situation in southern Ohio and wanted to see if there was any way we could provide any help with the cats. They don’t go running into the house and grab the cats and issue citations. They try to understand what’s causing the hoarding behavior and they have a team of psychologists and have people who come in and clean up the house. They were planning to go in and take a sampling of the cats. She had more than 85 cats in her house. To get a feel of what they were dealing with where they took the 20 cats to a local veterinarian to assess the health of the cats.”.." More

Crufts contestant who kept dogs in 'despicable' conditions is hit with lifetime ban

By: Sue Carr

A top Crufts contender who kept more than 90 dogs and cats in ‘despicable’ conditions with no food or water has been banned for life from having anything to do with animals.

Wendy Hutcheson, who ran Audenshaw Dog and Cat Home, was runner-up in the ‘yearling bitch’ category of the competition in 2007 with her American cocker spaniel.

But when RSPCA inspectors were called to the Hanover Street sanctuary they found 92 animals, including the prize-winning breed, in ‘squalid and horrendous’ conditions described as the worst they had ever seen.

Animals were emaciated and their coats were caked with urine and faeces from being kept in cramped cages and pens which had not been cleaned for ‘weeks if not months’.

Many had breathing problems caused by the ‘overpowering’ stench. One dog’s eye was so badly infected it had to be removed – another lost 26 teeth.

Hutcheson, who now works as a carer in Scotland, failed to turn up for trial at Tameside magistrates court on Monday but was convicted in her absence of six charges of causing unnecessary suffering. The 58-year-old was later arrested and kept in custody until yesterday’s sentencing.

She was banned from keeping animals for life and ordered to pay £1,000 costs..." More & video

Jose Rubio & Ana Ramos, Palo Alto, California

Oct 21, 2010: Animal-hoarding case resolved by plea bargain

by Sarah Trauben

Ana Ramos and Jose Rubio won't be able to keep any animals in their trailer home in Palo Alto for three years, according to a plea-bargain agreement reached this week.

The couple was arrested and charged with keeping than 40 dogs and cats in their trailer, was dropped in a plea bargain reached on Tuesday.

The terms of the plea bargain forbid the couple from adopting animals during a three-year probation period, according to Assistant City Attorney Don Larkin.

"Ramos and Rubio plead no contest to animal cruelty, and in exchange were given credit for time served as well as three years of probation during which time they cannot adopt, own, or have any contact with animals," Larkin said..." More

Jun 15, 2010: Palo Alto man arrested at fiancee's hearing on animal hoarding charges

By Jesse Dungan

A Palo Alto man was arrested Tuesday at a court hearing for his fiancee, who is facing multiple animal hoarding charges for allegedly housing 42 pets in a 30-foot trailer.

Authorities discovered 25 dogs and 17 cats on May 27 in the trailer belonging to Jose Rubio, 61, and Ana Ramos, 56. Rubio was arrested Tuesday morning for two counts of failure to care for animals and one count of mistreatment of confined animals, according to Senior Deputy City Attorney Donald Larkin. Rubio is also suspected of four municipal code violations: exceeding the maximum number of dogs and cats a resident is allowed to possess, and having more than one unaltered dog or cat.

Rubio's arrest came at a pretrial hearing for Ramos, who was arrested the day of the discovery after she allegedly pushed fecal matter onto an officer who attempted to enter the trailer after seeing the animals. Police came across the trailer while investigating a suspected hit-and-run, Larkin said. Ramos is being prosecuted for the same misdemeanors and municipal code violations Rubio was arrested for, as well as two counts of resisting or delaying or obstructing an officer.

Rubio was not arrested until Tuesday because authorities were still investigating the case, Larkin said..." More

Jun 3, 2010: Dozens of pets seized from Palo Alto woman

A Palo Alto woman faces possible animal cruelty charges after officials seized 42 injured and malnourished dogs and cats from her trailer home.

Officers doing a welfare check on the animals last week say they found feces all over the floor of the trailer and one water bowl for all the animals.

Many of the pets are still being treated, but all are expected to survive.

Palo Alto police Lt. Sandra Brown says municipal code only allows for three animals per home.

The owner, 56-year-old Ana Ramos, also allegedly pushed the officers to keep them from coming inside the trailer. She was arrested May 27 on suspicion of animal cruelty and committing battery on a police officer.

Santa Clara prosecutors say they haven't decided whether to charge Ramos. She's scheduled to appear in court Monday..." More

Jun 1, 2010: Police rescue animals crammed in Palo Alto trailer

Gennady Sheyner

More than 40 dogs and cats were seized from a Palo Alto trailer home last Thursday in what the police are calling one of the largest animal-rescue operations in the history of the local animal shelter.

Police said they found the animals in the trailer home of
Ana Ramos, a 56-year-old resident of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, during an investigation of a possible hit-and-run incident in the trailer park off El Camino Real. Officers noticed a strong animal stench and heard loud barking coming from several dogs within the trailer.

Police tried to get in to the building, but Ramos refused to let them in, police Lt. Sandra Brown said. When an animal-control officer arrived to investigate, Ramos allegedly pushed the officer and argued that she only owns eight dogs. The officer observed 12 dogs from the doorway, Brown said. The city's municipal code allows for a maximum of three dogs per household.

While holding two small dogs, Ramos allegedly resisted the officer's effort to take her into custody. Once she was restrained, police searched her 32-foot-long trailer home and found 25 dogs and 17 cats, including a group of cats crammed into a tiny bathroom.

The animal-control officer found only one box of food and a single water bowl in the trailer home, Brown said. Animal waste was scattered all over the floor, she said..."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Regina Millard and Bertha Ryan - Vermont

Oct 15, 2010: Animal hospital to hold adopt-a-thon Sunday for cats seized from cars

An animal hospital that took in some of the nearly 90 cats that were seized from two women's cars last weekend is seeking adopters for the animals.

The West Mountain Animal Hospital in Bennington, Vt., is holding an Adopt-a-thon event this Sunday to help place about 40 cats in new homes..." More

Oct 15, 2010: More cats seized from home of sisters who hoarded 86 cats

Oct 11, 2010: 86 cats found in Troy women's cars; 2 cited

Two women face animal cruelty charges, accused of keeping nearly 90 cats in their cars, many of them in poor and deteriorating health.

Regina Millard, 54, and Bertha Ryan, 61, were issued civil citations by Bennington Police. The cats were seized by Bennington Animal Control.

Police said they found the women parked at the Aldi grocery store in Bennington Friday, sleeping in their cars with the cats.

There are now 86 cats as of Monday, according to an agency official. Five had to be put down, and four more kittens were born Saturday..." More

New Research Helps Clinicians Predict Treatment Outcomes for Children With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

New research from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center may help clinicians better predict how a child with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) will respond to some of the most commonly used treatment approaches. The findings, published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, could help guide important clinical decisions about the best intervention for children with this often debilitating anxiety disorder.

"Until now, there has been little information about which OCD treatment to recommend to particular pediatric patients," said lead author Abbe Garcia, PhD, director of the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center (BHCRC) Pediatric Anxiety Research Clinic. "Our study identified some characteristics of children with OCD that could help us predict which patients are most likely to benefit from particular treatments, similar to a personalized medicine approach."

OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). The symptoms reported by children are similar to those seen among adults with OCD. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, as many as 1 in 200 children and adolescents struggle with OCD.

Researchers focused on outcomes of the three most commonly used treatment approaches for pediatric OCD: a form of psychotherapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that teaches children to face their fears; sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI); and a combination of the two..." More

Hoarders: Buried in Debt

By Erica Sandberg

It's easy to spot the home of a hoarder. As many have seen through the popular A&E TV show "Hoarders," people with this mental disorder pile up possessions and never throw anything out, turning their homes into wrecks.

What's less visible is the financial wreckage committed by the estimated600,000 to 1.2 million hoarders. Their compulsive, incessant acquiring behavior can leave bank accounts as empty as their homes are full.

How hoarding leads to money problems
While most people buy and keep things they don't need occasionally, hoarders go to sad extremes: Bedrooms become impassible due to piles of never-worn clothes, dishwashers get filled with never-read newspapers, and never-played games teeter in stacks that near the ceiling..." More

Johnson City woman consumed by hoarding habit

By Steve Reilly

Although her home brimmed with debris, Josephine Govericki was passionate about keeping her Fowler Avenue neighborhood clean.

Every garbage day she would walk along the street and put all the trash cans back in place, neighbors said, and her front yard was kept spotless.

"The minute a leaf came down off that tree, she'd always be out there sweeping," said Bonnie Cowden, whose family lives across the street. "That was immaculate along the curb there."

But the efforts at cleanliness did little to conceal a compulsion that likely contributed to her death Tuesday night: She could not keep herself from collecting junk.

When her home at 33 Fowler Ave. caught fire Tuesday night, firefighters were unable to rescue Govericki, 89, from amid the mass of objects she built up in her home.

Johnson City fire Chief Stephen Hrustich said the fire was knocked down within minutes of the 7:27 p.m. call, but every point of access to the house was blocked with rubbage..." More

How to deal with hoarding

Hoarding has become an issue for many American. Dr. Dana Ross of Grayson and Associates talks about how to deal with hoarding and the issues associated with it..." Video

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Elder Services responds to hoarding issues

By Jesse Roman

DANVERS — Not long ago, a local woman with a serious hoarding problem was rushed to the hospital after a pile of her belongings fell on top of her. She was trapped for a day before someone found her.

"We've had a couple of really bad cases that people in the community knew were hoarding, but they didn't know who to call or where to go," says Shelly Luckenbill, the protective services program manager at North Shore Elder Services in Danvers. "Unfortunately we only get there when there's a crisis; when the courts are involved or there's an eviction notice."

In response to what it sees as a growing problem, Elder Services has formed a hoarding task force, which is working to give people with hoarding issues more options for help..." More

Charles & Diane O'Malley, Mid-Florida Retriever Rescue - Polk, Florida

Oct 11, 2010: 52 Dogs From Polk Sheriff's Seizure Turned Over To Rescue Group

Fifty-two dogs from Polk County's single largest animal seizure case have been turned over so far to an Orlando rescue for adoption.

Deputies seized about 260 dogs in late May from Charles and Diane O'Malley.

Last week, Polk County Judge Anne Kaylor concluded deputies were only justified in taking 26 dogs from the Polk City couple. However, the O'Malleys agreed to turn over all of their dogs to A New Beginning Pet Care & Rescue.

Debbie Bruno, a representative with the rescue, said efforts are going forward to get more of the dogs from Polk County Animal Control.

Aug 30, 2010: Care for Seized Animals Costly for County

By Jason Geary

The Polk County Sheriff's Office estimates it has cost $418,000 to care for 261 dogs seized from a Polk City couple.

And the cost keeps rising.

In late May, deputies took the dogs from Charles and Diane O'Malley, who own a nonprofit dog rescue organization, Mid-Florida Retriever Rescue.

One bull also was removed from the O'Malley property on Angus Road.

More than 90 days later, taxpayers continue to foot the bill while ownership of the dogs remains in limbo.

The O'Malleys and the Sheriff's Office are embroiled in legal wrangling over who should have custody of the dogs..." More

Polk inmates take care of seized animals

The Polk County Sheriff's Office confiscated more than 300 animals this week, and that's taking a sizable bite out of the animal control department's budget.

Sheriff Grady Judd has roughly doubled the number of inmates working at the facility to offset the financial impact from two huge seizures in a week. About two dozen Polk County jail inmates are now paying their debts to society by working around the clock to assist the animals.

Photo Gallery: Another large animal seizure

"They need to pay their debt to society," says Sheriff Judd. "They violated the law and they stole and they took things from society and now they're paying it back."

Cornelius Williams is one of the inmates.

"We water the dogs, feed the dogs, bathe the dogs... you know, when they have appointments, we take them back and forth to the vet," he says, explaining his responsibilities.

Williams doesn't get paid in cash, but says he is profiting from the experience, gaining confidence and a sense of responsibility...." More & video

Neighbors never saw neglect before 261 dogs seized

Officials say you had to see it for yourself to believe it; more than 260 dogs living in filth inside a Polk City home.

"The house wasn't fit for humans or dogs," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Chuck and Diane O'Malley were arrested Thursday and each charged with 261 counts of animal cruelty after officials seized 261 dogs from the couple's home.

Photo Gallery: Hundreds of dogs seized from Polk City home

The O'Malley's ran a non-profit dog rescue from their home called Mid-Florida Retriever Rescue. But the sheriff says it was the dogs that needed to be rescued from the supposed rescuers.

"Now quite frankly if they wanted to live there it's there business, but to subject those dogs to that environment was horrific."

Judd told reporters deputies had to wear masks before entering the home because the smell was so bad. Officials say most of the dogs were underweight, emaciated, had fleas and hookworms. One of the dogs also died during the seizure and 4 different officers were bit as they tried to remove the dogs according to the sheriff..." More & video

Two hundred plus dogs in poor health in Polk County

Polk County Detectives arrested a husband and wife on 261 counts of animal cruelty after finding neglected dogs infested with fleas and parasites, malnourished and in very poor health.

Animal Control Officers and Agricultural Crimes deputies responded to a home on Angus Road in Polk City and arrested Charles O'Malley and Diane O'Malley after discovering the animals on their property.

The investigation into the animal neglect claims began on Wednesday afternoon after Animal Control received an anonymous tip that Mid-Florida Retriever Rescue, Inc., had approximately 100 dogs that were being neglected.

An Animal Control supervisor found that there was not enough food or water present for the number of dogs she located on-scene and requested to see each of the dogs to ensure they were healthy. The Sheriff's Office says that at first the O’Malleys were cooperative and brought out 117 dogs, one-by-one, to be seen by Animal Control Officers and Agricultural Crimes deputies..." More & video

May 27, 2010: 261 dogs confiscated from Polk rescue organization

By Jose Pati Girona

Dog rescue groups are known as havens of safety, companionship and love for unwanted dogs.

But authorities said a local organization';s mission went awry and the dogs were found extremely underweight and with visible ribs, pelvic bones and vertebrae.

The Polk County Sheriff';s Office confiscated 261 dogs on Thursday from the home of Diane and husband Charles "Chuck" O';Malley, who ran the Mid-Florida Retriever Rescue out of their house, 15195 Angus Road, Polk City.

They were each charged with 261 counts of animal cruelty and are being held at Polk County Jail with bail set at more than $100,000 for each.

"These animals have been neglected, mistreated and were living in deplorable conditions." said Sheriff Grady Judd.

The sheriff';s office received an anonymous tip Wednesday afternoon that the O';Malleys had about 100 dogs that were being neglected..." More

Monday, October 11, 2010

Troy women face animal cruelty charges

By: Beth Wurtmann

BENNINGTON - Playful and affectionate, or suffering from a variety of illnesses, dozens of cats are now in the car of veterinarians, like the West Mountain Animal Hospital.

It's a far cry, authorities said, from how they were found on Friday night.

"When you really started looking you're like Holy mackerel, there's like layers of cats and some of them under the seats, one of them over the dashboard it amazing where these cats laid," said veterinarian Dr. Linda Morris.

Animal Control officers and police said more than 80 cats were packed into two cars parked near an Aldi store in Bennington. One kitten was found dead. Conditions were allegedly bleak.

"There was urine on the seats urine on the floor some cats were covered with feces and urine and stuff," Morris added...

...A News Channel 13 crew stopped by the Troy homes of both 54-year-old Regina Millard and 61-year-old Bertha Ryan, no one answered.

Both initially were given a citation but on Monday, the charge was upgraded to misdemeanor animal cruelty..." More

Sunday, October 10, 2010

SPCA seizes assortment of animals from Nanaimo home

By: Danielle Bell

A Nanaimo man may face animal cruelty charges after SPCA officials seized more than 100 cats, mice, gerbils and hedgehogs from his Kennedy Street home.

The 105 animals - 77 mice, 17 hedgehogs, six gerbils and five cats - were seized on Wednesday as part of an animal cruelty investigation that stemmed from a July complaint.

Many of the animals were sick and remain under medical care after officials seized them from what they described as deplorable conditions..." More

Animal hoarding a dangerous emotional issue


It is a cruel paradox.

Animal hoarders, some of the most prolific perpetrators of shocking animal neglect, are people who think of themselves as animal lovers, according to experts in psychology and animal advocacy.

In 2006, Collier County Domestic Animal Service officials seized 31 cats, two rabbits, two dogs and a bird from the home of a Golden Gate Estates woman, in what could be described as a classic animal hoarding case. According to the DAS report, most of the animals were underfed and sick, the floors of the house were littered with animal waste, and the smell of ammonia from cat urine was so overwhelming the investigator described a burning feeling in her eyes and lungs. Yet officials said the owner grossly underestimated the disaster her house had become and the danger to her cats.

The cats, she told an investigator, were her life and she threatened suicide if she were parted from them..." More

Animals suffered despite inspections

A case of animal cruelty involving an online pet store owner in P.E.I. has raised questions about how closely the business was monitored by provincial inspectors.

Bud Wheatley, owner of, was sentenced to five months in jail on Tuesday for causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to animals. Wheatley, 62, is also prohibited from owning any animals for 10 years, with the exception of his 13-year-old dog Sacha.

RCMP officers raided Wheatley's property on P.E.I.'s North Shore in October 2009. About 80 cats and dogs were seized in the raid and taken to the P.E.I. Humane Society. Some were emaciated, two had to be euthanized and one died before it could be treated..." More

Psychodynamic Therapy Not Helpful for OCD with Depression


A new study discovers supplemental brief dynamic therapy does not help depressed individuals who also have obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The study focused on individuals who were receiving effective medications for the major depressive disorder.

Researchers at the University of Torino wondered if psychoanalysis or related brief psychotherapies would help individuals with obsessions and compulsions..." More

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Todd Stoehr - Duluth, Minnesota

Feb 27, 2011: Two Harbors man accused of hoarding more than 100 cats pleads guilty to misdemeanor charges

A Two Harbors man accused of hoarding more than 100 cats has pleaded guilty to animal neglect and maltreatment.

Prosecutors say 70-year-old Edward Todd Stoehr agreed Friday to a sentence of 180 days in jail, stayed for two years as part of a plea deal. He'll also be fined $1,500 of which all but $250 will be stayed.

The Duluth News Tribune reports felony charges of animal cruelty were reduced to misdemeanors as part of the plea deal.." More

Oct 7, 2010:

More Cats Found in Duluth Township Home

More cats have been found in the home of a Two Harbors man accused earlier this year of hoarding 100 cats.

A search warrant was executed at Edward Stoehr's property in Duluth Township Thursday afternoon.

Duluth Township police said they found three cats, two of which were in poor shape. The animals were taken from inside a pole barn and are being cared for at Animal Allies in Duluth.

Stoehr was charged in April with animal cruelty. The complaint reads that he may suffer from cat-hoarding behavior. He will be in court again in November..." Link & video

Apr 26, 2010: Charges filed in cat hoarding case

A 68-year-old Two Harbors man was charged with six crimes Friday for allegedly mistreating dozens of cats.

Edward Todd Stoehr is charged with two felony counts of cruelty to animals, one count of misdemeanor maltreatment of animals and three counts of misdemeanor failure to adequately care for animals.

“We are serious about prosecuting animal cruelty cases,” St. Louis County Attorney Melanie Ford said in a prepared statement. “Defenseless animals suffer greatly, and we will pursue justice in this case.”

Stoehr has been summoned to make his first appearance in St. Louis County District Court on May 20.

The complaint alleges that on March 15, Duluth Township police and personnel from the Minnesota Humane Society executed a search warrant on Stoehr’s property at 1848 Korkki Road.

The officers reported that there were no lights on, and no windows, ventilation or fresh food or water in a pole building.

Twenty live cats were found, two of which had to be euthanized. Portable kennels were in poor

condition, and litter boxes were overflowing. A veterinarian determined that the cats’ basic needs were not being met and could have caused premature death.

The officers also found 39 dead cats in bags and containers outside the pole building. The animal recovery team then went to Stoehr’s residence and removed 34 live cats. A veterinarian conducted necropsies on three cats and found that two of them died from emaciation from not eating for an extended period of time. Other live cats were found that suffered from various diseases allegedly due to improper treatment by Stoehr..." More

Mar 26, 2010: Animal cruelty charges sought in St. Louis County cat-hoarding case

By Brandon Stahl

Duluth Township's police chief said he'll forward a report Thursday to the St. Louis County attorney's office seeking 79 counts of animal cruelty charges against a Two Harbors man accused of hoarding more than 100 cats at two of his properties.

Thirty-nine of those charges could correspond with the number of cats found dead at the Duluth Township property of 68-year-old Todd Stoehr, said Police Chief Shawn Padden. But, Padden said, he's still awaiting autopsy results to see if the cats died of a cause such as respiratory distress.

The cats found alive at Stoehr's property were kept in what Padden described as "filthy" conditions, including a pole barn housing 20 cats without light or ventilation and with floors covered in feces.

"They might knock some of the charges down a bit," Padden said. "But they seemed pretty receptive to it."

Stoehr declined comment for this story.

Meanwhile, Animal Allies Humane Society said as of Tuesday afternoon 11 of the 35 cats the shelter took in from Stoehr's properties have been adopted..." More

Nov 3, 2010 - Orange County,CA - Hoarding Conference

The 2010 Orange County Summit on Hoarding will be held in Huntington Beach, California , on November 3rd, 2010.

The event, targeted for service providers who encounter hoarding situations, will be kicked off with a keynote address by practitioner, researcher and author Christiana Bratitios, PhD., Director, Compulsive Hoarding Project at Boston University 's School of Social Work .

Her book, Hoarding and Human Services, is due to be released in spring, 2011 by Oxford University Press. Other conference topics include Ethics of Intervening in Hoarding Situations, Pros, Cons and Alternatives to Receiverships for Hoarded Residences, Rights of Renters who Hoard, Application of the California Fire Code to Residential Hoarding, and Interviews with People Recovering from Hoarding Disorder.

Registration packet: Link

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Missouri hoarder surrenders 71 dogs

by Chelsey Brooks

A Missouri woman is surrendering 71 dogs to the Humane Society of Missouri.

On Monday the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force rescued the dogs from a property in Saline County at the request of the producers of an Animal Planet's series.
During taping of Confessions: Animal Hoarding, this past week, the owner realized she could no longer properly care for the dogs and agreed to surrender them.
Twenty-five of the dogs, including a litter of puppies, were living in the owner's home. About 60 other dogs were living in rundown, open air pens on a separate near-by property.
Authorities say several of the dogs are very old and/or malnourished, and most appear to have fleas and possibly other internal and external parasites..." More & video