By Mary Beth Lane
Ronald and Karen Miller always kept house cats as pets. First eight, then one more. Then another.
Eventually, the brother and sister had accumulated 21 cats, plusa dog.
The stench of animal waste overtook the Washington Court House rental the Millers shared, and neighbors complained they could smell it from the sidewalk.
The Millers had become animal hoarders.
They now are charged in Fayette County with animal cruelty, as there is no separate hoarding offense under Ohio law.
No one tracks the number of animal-cruelty cases, including hoarding, that are filed each year in Ohio or nationally because each local humane society operates independently. There is no centralized record-keeping.
But based on the reports that they are aware of, the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimate that up to 2,000 new cases involving about 250,000 hoarded animals occur every year across the country..." More