Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pet overpopulation produces animal hoarding

by Shaka S. Lias

Roxanne was found with barbed wire twisted around her mouth and 40 pounds underweight. Henry's leg was mangled when a car hit him and his leg had to be amputated. Sally was bred at least 15 times until she required surgery to repair damage.

In addition to the dogs' strong will to survive they all have something else in common, Second Chance Animal Rescue and Adoption rescued them.

Jolynn VanCamp is a state licensed rescuer who has rescued cats and dogs since the mid-1990s. With the help of volunteers, she runs Second Chance and saves animals from death row.

Second Chance is a no-kill facility, which bears a huge responsibility, VanCamp said. "Being no kill you can end up with way too many animals."

To date they have adopted out more than 3,000 dogs, with strict instructions in the contract that if the owner ever wants to get rid of the dog they must return the animal to Second Chance. The dogs cannot be turned into a shelter or given to someone else without a screening of the home or shelter by Second Chance.

VanCamp said currently they have about 10 dogs that have been returned and cannot be adopted.

"There are seven in the house with me, and they have plenty of room and love," VanCamp said. The rest are in a kennel located on the 10-acre ranch in Canton where Second Chance is located.

VanCamp said saving pets is a passion she holds dear to her heart. "I've been active in trying to stop the over pet population, it stretches far and wide."

Although Second Chance is located in Canton, VanCamp travels throughout the state rescuing animals. Last month she rescued 19 dogs and five cats that were taken from an elderly woman's Cartersville home by Animal Control.

VanCamp said that case is a classic example of hoarding. She said tools for hoarding come from pet overpopulation, with owners desperate to give up their animals. "People dumped them on this lady and didn't care to look in her home to see the conditions."

"All they know is that she was taking the dogs," VanCamp said. "The lady believed in no kill, so many animals got dumped on her by these owner give-ups."

VanCamp said animal hoarding, animal cruelty and dog fighting all play a part in overpopulation, and unfortunately, there is no law against it..." More

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