Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hoarding horrors


When hoarding hits the headlines, it is rarely a good news story.

This past week, in a disturbing case of animal hoarding, officials from the Etobicoke Humane Society removed 30 malnourished and sickly cats from a senior’s apartment. Two felines had to be euthanized.

The alleged hoarder, identified by neighbours as Veronica Kunicki, faces possible criminal charges of permitting animals to be in distress.

Hoarding has been on the radar in Toronto in a big way since September, when the packed paper contents of an alleged hoarder’s apartment fed the flames of a devastating fire at 200 Wellesley St. Hundreds were left homeless.

When cases of severe hoarding go public, few people try to understand what’s behind the debilitating condition.

“Hoarding is completely non-prejudiced,” says Carolyn Caldwell of Wellrich Organizers. Caldwell is a certified professional organizer specializing in hoarding, or chronic disorganization (CPO-CD).

“There are people in Rosedale whose homes are filled to the roof.”

Television shows like Hoarders often depict men and women who live in squalor, cannot hold jobs, or fit into society. Those are extreme cases. Most hoarders fly under the radar..." More

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