Vermont has introduced a bill that seeks to impose criminal penalties for animal hoarding.
As written, House Bill 371 defines an “animal hoarder” as any person who:
• Possesses five or more animals;
• Fails to provide adequate food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, or necessary medical attention or transports an animal in overcrowded vehicles;
• Keeps the animals in a severely overcrowded environment; and
• Displays an inability to recognize or understand the nature of or has a reckless disregard for the conditions under which the animals are living and the deleterious impact they have on the animals’ health and well-being.
The state’s animal cruelty laws define animals as “all living sentient creatures, not human beings.” This could mean a wide array of animals, including cats, dogs, small animals, birds and reptiles..." More