Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hoarding: Too many pets and not enough solution

"...Many well-meaning pet owners and rescuers find themselves in trouble when they take in too many animals or when their animals' reproduction rate outstrips their ability to care for them. Others cannot face euthanasia, instead keeping animals whose quality of life is miserably low.

Holly Cheever, a veterinarian based in Voorheesville who has worked on hundreds of hoarding cases over more than 20 years, said the poor economy has led to more dumped animals and hard times for people who once could afford to properly care for a large number of animals.

Hoarding isn't new, Cheever said, but it is recognized more. Due to 10 years worth of research by a consortium hosted by Tufts University and exposure in the national media, including the TV show "Animal Hoarders," people know what hoarding is now. There is increased detection and reporting, Cheever said.

In 1997, the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC) was formed by the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy, Boston UniversityNortheastern UniversitySmith College and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The researchers came from a variety of backgrounds -- animal welfare and humane law enforcement; sociology; social work and rehabilitation services; veterinary medicine and hoarding psychology and intervention..."  More

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