A woman recently charged with animal cruelty may have been hoarding as many as 150 animals in her Riga home in western Monroe County. The staff at Lollypop Farm in Perinton is now caring for the rescued animals.
Hoarding is an act that professionals believe may be linked to obsessive-compulsive behavior. The story is heartbreaking for the animals, which were neglected, and for the woman, who may have believed she was doing the right thing even though her actions resulted in her being charged with a serious crime.
The animals — 66 chickens, 60 water fowl, 16 cats, three dogs, four horses and a goat — were emaciated and sick. They had been confined to such unsanitary areas that the house was condemned by the town of Riga.
The shocking discovery makes some in the community angry to know animals have been abused to such a degree. The 62-year-old woman was charged with allegedly failing to provide sustenance, which can apply to anything that threatens the life of animals. The misdemeanor could result in a sentence of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, according to authorities.
What is behind such actions, some professionals say, is an undiagnosed condition called animal hoarding, which involves keeping a large number of pets without the ability to care for them. It appears to be a compulsive disorder characterized by the attachment to pets. Some who hoard cannot understand they may be harming the animals; they believe they are doing what is best. The condition has been the basis for an Animal Planet cable channel show where an “intervention team” of show staffers confronts people who are hoarding animals..." More