Thursday, March 31, 2011

Animal hoarding concerns Medina County officials

by Maria Kacik Kula

People from various fields Tuesday looked over pictures of dogs in cages, cats bald from flea infestations and homes littered with feces.

The pictures showed the dark reality of animal hoarding in Medina County, said officials with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Some of the pictures were from the February case in which 124 dogs were found in a Gloria Glens home. But that wasn’t the only example offered by the Medina County SPCA.

Several other cases from the last year included cats, goats and ferrets.

“This is something that happens all over Ohio. It’s something that happens in Medina County all the time,” said Jeff Holland, a prosecutor who works with SPCA throughout Ohio. Holland said he prosecuted his first case of animal hoarding in Medina County in the early 1990s.

Stephanie Moore, who leads the Medina County SPCA, said animal hoarding is something her agency can’t deal with on its own.

“It’s one thing to take care of the animals, but the reality is there is a much bigger problem. We need to take care of that,” Moore said.

That’s why an animal hoarding task force was formed and met at the Medina County Health Department on Tuesday. Health and sanitation experts from the Health Department, prosecutors, a representative from the Medina County Soil and Water Conservation District, and adult protective services workers met to discuss the problem of animal hoarding.

Each discipline offered a different take on how hoarding impacts the community..."

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