Friday, September 23, 2011

Delores Metcalf

Sept 14, 2011 - Judge delays decision on putting down 153 cats

he municipal animal shelter is overflowing after 152 cats, an American bulldog and a ferret were delivered from a Northland home.
"Everybody that was involved was in shock," said Dennis Moriarty, manager of the kennel. "It's like, 'Oh, my word' because they just kept on coming."
Authorities said they cited Delores "Anne" Metcalf for having too many animals in a home, failure to control odor and for animal cruelty. Her home on North Bales Avenue has been condemned.
More than 50 dead cats were found stuffed inside her freezer and refrigerator but officials said they are still removing dead cats from the home.
Metcalf could not be reached for comment Tuesday. On Monday, Metcalf watched as cat after cat was pulled from her home. She was later led away in handcuffs by police.
Three separate enclosures inside the shelter are housing 40 cats each. A fourth enclosure is needed for the kittens. Many of the kittens will need to be bottle fed.
Most of the cats have cuts, abrasions, fleas and hair loss. All of the cats were covered in feces and urine, officials said. The medical assessments and tests will take several days to complete.
"It's hard to see things like this happen," Moriarty said. "Then try to understand the circumstances of the individual that it happened to."
The cats are skittish, but Moriarty is hopeful they can be adjusted with time to human interaction.

They found 94 cats, four dogs, a rabbit and a ferret in a woman's trailer. An officer, learning one of the dogs was diabetic, opened the refrigerator to check for insulin.

It was filled with dead cats, some in Tupperware containers. 

This week, officers carried more than 100 cats out of a woman's house and found 50 or so dead and frozen in a deep freeze, tagged like hamburger.

Same woman.

Delores Metcalf, 56, seems to be a serial cat hoarder.

"She needed help back then, and she didn't get it, and now she's done it again," a woman familiar with the Liberty case said this week.

Perhaps that's because animal hoarding has only recently been looked upon as a mental disorder. It is relatively new to psychological research, and experts struggle to nail it down.

Some researchers link hoarding to childhood trauma. Others say it's an addiction, such as to drugs. Attachment disorder? Obsessive-compulsive disorder? Safety and security issues? Loneliness?

"We're trying to play catch-up," said Ken Weiss, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.The problem is that hoarders typically don't seek treatment. They think nothing is wrong with themselves. The first contact with outsiders is usually with law enforcement.

"So the process has been a legal one, not one of mental health," Weiss said.

But things are changing. They have to, because researchers now say 2 to 5 percent of the population exhibits some signs of hoarding one thing or another.

Gary Patronek of the Animal Rescue League of Boston said the 2013 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders — essentially the bible of the American Psychiatric Association — is expected for the first time to include hoarding as a disorder...."  More

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