Thursday, March 31, 2011

Almost 100 Cats Seized From Hoarder

Scott Davis

The Yavapai Humane Society and Purebred Cat Breed Rescue Inc. have been busy the last couple of days, removing 96 cats from a home near Cottonwood.

Dr. Linda Mercer, president of the rescue organization, said the cats were owned by an elderly woman who had been breeding Siamese, Scottish Fold, Pixie-Bob, Manx and Bengal cats for profit. The woman had became infirm, and in the last few years the home developed into a hoarding situation, Mercer said. The owner is now hospitalized and has relinquished the cats to Mercer's group.

The cats will be evaluated for adoption and illness. Those deemed suitable for adoption will be spayed orneutered, vaccinated and tested for FIV/FeLV before being offered to the public..." More

Hoarding or collecting — a subtle difference

Marlboro woman arrested for hoarding rabbits

Ulster County SPCA investigators Wednesday arrested a Mt. Zion Road, Marlboro woman on 64 misdemeanor counts of failure to provide proper sustenance to animals.

Phyllis Edwards, 64, was arrested following an undercover investigation that revealed 64 rabbits living in deplorable conditions with no food or water.

One dead rabbit was removed from the trailer where the animals were kept..."

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..."

Community Alert: Lucern Valley Dog Shelter Is In Desperate Need

A Chip-in page has been established by "Stella's Hope", who has been going to Harmony Haven for several weeks now to assist. If you are interested in finding out more, please friend "Stella's Hope" on Facebook, they have updates and pictures.

Mar 20, 2011: Community Alert: Lucerne Valley Dog Shelter is in Desperate Need of Assistance

By Ashka Patel

(Victor Valley)–An urgent request for assistance is being made by independent Animal Rescuer Isabel Gallardo and Jenifer Aldrige who are volunteering at Harmony Haven Rescue, Lucerne Valley.

The situation is out of control when it comes to the medical health of over 350 dogs currently residing at Harmony Haven Rescue.

This is result of local residents dropping off dogs that haven’t been vaccinated, spayed or neutered at, Harmony Haven Rescue.

The owner of Harmony Haven Rescue is an 83 old woman, who needs financial assistance herself. When speaking to Isabel Gallardo, she stated, “They need to get more volunteers or 501c3’s to help with the situation.” Independent Animal Rescuers have been coming all the way from Los Angeles and San Diego to assist in any way possible. The conditions are horrid, inhumane and medically unfit for the dogs to reside there.

The rescuers are making trips from other cities at their own expense to assist in the situation.

HOW YOU CAN HELP They are requesting for supplies from local residents or businesses, such as dog food, fencing material, independent contractors, and anyone willing to volunteer a day at the facility to assist in the cleanup.

Also, they are asking local residents to adopt one of these dogs, so that they can be taken out of this facility as soon as possible. They are requesting assistance from Local Veterinary’s, because it’s very difficult to pay the high medical costs associated for the treatment of these dogs...." More

Pictures courtesy of Stella's Hope

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Woman held after horses, llamas found severely neglected

STAYTON, Ore. (AP) - The Marion County sheriff's office says deputies have seized 14 starving llamas and three malnourished horses from a farm outside Stayton, Ore. It's the fourth seizure this year of neglected horses and farm animals in the county.

Senior Deputy Brenda Lumley seized a malnourished colt from the same farm in January and offered the owners resources to avoid further seizures. But Lumley says the remaining animals' condition continued to worsen. A judge authorized Wednesday's seizure.

Mikerrra Lee Lane, 35, is being held on animal neglect charges...."

Marion County press release appears below this photo.


The owner of the horses and llamas seized from the farm on Towers Road SE has been identified as Mikerrra Lee Lane, 35 (photo attached). She was arrested by Deputy Andrew Derschon at her home on Duckflat Road SE in Turner on Thursday evening. Lane was booked at the Marion County Jail on 15 counts of Animal Neglect. Lane is represented by an attorney; and upon advice, no statement was provided.

The seized horses are receiving care at the Lighthouse Animal Sanctuary in Scio. The llamas are under the care of volunteers at the Willamette Valley Llama Association. It is anticipated that their recovery will take months.

Lane is scheduled for a court appearance on April 21st at 9:30am, in the Marion County Court Annex, 4000 Aumsville highway SE, Salem.

- - - - - - - - - -

Marion County Deputies seized 3 malnourished horses and 14 starving llamas from a farm on Towers Road SE, just outside Stayton on Wednesday morning. This was the fourth seizure of neglected horses and farm animals in Marion County since the beginning of the year.

In what seems to be a growing trend, possibly the fallout of economic times, more and more animals are being left to fend for themselves rather than getting the care, shelter and food they deserve.

Senior Deputy Brenda Lumley seized a malnourished colt from this same farm in January. Because the other horses and llamas were showing beginning signs of neglect, Lumley offered the owners resources and options to avoid further seizures. "We really try to work with animal owners to avoid having to seize their animals. There are options available. Owners who can't care for their animals shouldn't delay action." Lumley said.

Unfortunately, the remaining animal's conditions continued to deteriorate. Lumley had photographs of the animals examined by a veterinarian. As a result of that examination, Judge Dale Penn issued a search warrant authorizing their seizure.

The llamas and horses were in poor condition, rating 1-3 on a body condition evaluation with 1 being the poorest condition and 9 being the best. They were suffering from skin conditions, parasite infestations, rain rot and abscessed hooves...." More

Citrus County rescue group is under scrutiny after dogs seized


A Citrus County animal rescue group is under scrutiny by Citrus County authorities who removed more than two dozen dogs from the group's Floral City facility this week.

The Humane Society of Florida's former president Margret Nolan was issued 27 citations for failure to provide humane care in connection with the dogs, some of which were puppies. She was given a court date of May 6.

Conditions on site were concerning to veterinarian Dr. Julie Rosenberger, who was called in by animal control.

"I saw animals that were multiple animals in a cage, unclean conditions, animals that were matted, animals that had respiratory conditions, animals that were soiled," she said.

Officials say the number of dogs there also exceeded the agreed-upon capacity.

A spokesperson for the Citrus County Sheriff's Office said Nolan, rather than the organization, was cited because she brought the animals to the facility.

Nolan, who resigned as president of the Humane Society of Florida earlier this month, says she is operating as a volunteer. She said she brought the dogs in to be spayed and neutered and that she was picking them up.." More

Two Animals Seized, Two More Dead in Kanawha Co. Home

Reporter: Michael Hyland

Kanawha County humane officers seized two dogs from a home Thursday where two other animals had died, as the animals had no access to food or water and were living in a home covered in trash and animal waste.

The house is on Georges Drive near St. Albans. The animals’ owner, Shelly Workman, wasn't anywhere to be found.

Click here to find out more!

The two dogs that were seized were so skinny their bones were showing.

As humane officer Jeff Allen walked around the home, it was virtually impossible to take a step without encountering animal waste.

"I was actually very shocked. That's the worst conditions I've ever seen for animals or humans or anybody to be in," says Allen.

Just about everything in the house, including the furniture was destroyed..." More

Judge orders Stafford couple not to possess pets after 14 of 20 cats euthanized due to poor healt

A Stafford couple arrested last month on multiple animal cruelty charges in connection with the hoarding of 20 cats found in poor health has been ordered by a judge not to possess any pets, according to records filed in Vernon Superior Court.

The couple, Lee Ward and Cathy Ward of 4 Willington Ave., Apt. 6 were each arrested on a warrant Feb. 6 in connection with the incident, which occurred last November.

Both are charged with 20 counts each of cruelty to animals and failure to vaccinate the cats against rabies. They are both free on promises to return to Vernon court May 2..."

Edwin and Cheryl Criswell

Mar 30, 2011: Flathead Co. wants couple to relinquish control of their cats

by Katy Harris

Back in December, animal wardens seized over 100 cats from a remote location in Marion. Animal Cruelty charges are pending for Cheryl and Edwin Criswell, meanwhile The Flathead County Spay and Neuter Task Force is spending hundreds of dollars still caring for the cats.

The county wants the Criswell's to relinquish control so that they can now start to be adopted.

The Criswells want to keep anywhere from 15 to 45 of their 100 cats that are currently housed in the task force shelter but the county says they will not have any of the cats back in their possession.

The Criswells are charged with cruelty to animals and aggravated animal cruelty. Because of the crowded and poor conditions the cats were living in, one was put down, 2 cats are blind in both eyes due to conjunctivitis and 6 have only one eye. 5 cats had to get surgery to remove teeth due to an immune disorder.

The task force had to purchase a trailer for $500 to specifically accommodate the Criswell's cats. Flathead County pays for food and litter for the cats, which should be paid in restitution costs by the Criswells.

Until the Criswells release control over the animals it will cost the Spay and Neuter Task $150 a day to take care of them..." More

Previous case on Pet-abuse click here

Jan 8, 2010: Ex-Idaho cat hoarders arrested in Montana

Chelsea Bannach

A northwestern Montana couple involved in the largest animal hoarding case in Idaho history was charged with animal cruelty Thursday after authorities found more than 100 cats living in their two small feces-filled trailers last month.

Edwin and Cheryl Criswell face felony aggravated animal cruelty after police seized the cats Dec. 22 in Marion, Mont. They were booked into Flathead County Jail on Friday. The maximum sentence is up to two years in jail and a $2,500 fine.

It’s not the first time the Criswells have faced animal cruelty charges.

In September 2006, they were convicted of misdemeanor animal cruelty in the largest animal hoarding case in Idaho history.

More than 430 cats were seized from their then-home in Blanchard, Idaho. More than half those cats were put down “due to severe illness, disease and suffering,” the Humane Society of the United States said in 2006. The Criswells were fined $1,000 and placed on unsupervised probation for two years. They were also forbidden from having more than 20 pets in their care..." More

Feb 26, 2010: Hoarders have 40-plus more cats

Alison Boggs

T..."" More

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Animal Planet - Confessions: Animal Hoarding

Confessions: Animal Hoarding, currently airing on Animal Planet that tells the stories of people overwhelmed by the number of pets they own. The problem is on the rise and affect communities across America.

If you are concerned about the health of animals in someone's care and suspect they may be hoarding them, we might be able to help.

Most animal hoarders don’t see themselves as hoarders, and sometimes don’t intentionally collect animals. Their relationship with their animals has threatened their relationships with friends and family.

Most of these situations aren’t dealt with until they become criminal. This results in animals being euthanized by over-stressed shelters, and doesn’t address the underlying psychological issues - meaning nearly 100% of people end up in the same situation again.

We are dedicated to finding comprehensive long-term solutions and believe therapy to be key to this. We can bring in experts to help people and their pets.

If you or someone you know needs help because animals have overrun their life, visit to learn more and submit their story. Alternatively, contact me directly at or toll-free at 1 -877-698-7387.

We will treat all submissions with confidentiality and respect.

Over 20 cats found in Bombay, N.Y., hoarding house

Police are investigating a big animal hoarding case in northern New York.

Rescuers found 21 neglected cats inside a home in Bombay, N.Y. Most are malnourished and are suffering from a range of medical conditions. Five have been euthanized because their health conditions were too severe for treatment. Rescuers say the conditions in the home were among the worst they've ever encountered.

The elderly owner of the animals reportedly lives alone and was having trouble caring for them. There's no word on whether she'll face charges..." More

Abused, neglected dogs taken from owner

Author: Emily Robertson

Hawkins County Humane Society (HCHS) seized 24 dogs and 175 chickens from property in Mooresburg on Thursday after the owner of the animals failed to adequately care for them. HCHS was first notified of a possible animal neglect situation in November of 2010.

"I received an E-mail in November from a neighbor and then received a phone call from another neighbor in February," Jessica Kleis, Manager of HCHS, said. "They called wondering if there was anything we could do as far as the law goes because there was definitely a problem in the area with howling, barking and smell."

From the reports, Kleis had estimates of as many as 70 dogs on one acre of land tied up or running loose in the area.

Kleis presented the information to the HCHS Board, who had representatives go to the land to survey the situation.

"No food or water was found on the premise and the Sheriff's Department notified the owner of the complaint," according to a press release from the HCSO board. "The HCHS was called again and was informed that the owner had not been to the property for three to four days. At that point, the HCHS started to provide water and food for the animals.".." More

Monday, March 28, 2011

Brookhaven Town Condemns Holtsville Animal House

By Timothy Bolger

Town of Brookhaven building department officials condemned a Holtsville home Sunday after Suffolk County SPCA officers investigated a case of animal hoarding there.

The two-bedroom house on Expressway Drive South had 13 cats and one dog inside and was found to be covered in animal feces, town officials said.

The dog, which was described as being in poor condition, was taken to the Brookhaven Animal Shelter but the cats were not removed. Shelter employees are feeding the cats at the home, town officials said..." More

Animal 'Hoarding' Often Tied to Mental Illness

By Maryann Mott

A small army of animal welfare workers spent nearly 10 hours removing hundreds of sick and dying animals from a rural North Carolina property in one of the United States' larger animal-hoarding cases.

More than 400 animals -- 17 species in all, ranging from ducks and rabbits to dogs and cats -- had been living in squalor with a middle-aged couple claiming to be animal rescuers. Yet these would-be saviors provided little, if any, food, water, or medical care.

"Every section of the property inspected was just more deplorable and just more hideous than the last one," recalled Shelley Swaim, an animal welfare inspector for the state, who was on the scene that day three years ago.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of cases of animal hoarding are believed to occur each year throughout the nation. While hoarders tend to be women, the compulsion to possess large numbers of animals beyond the ability to properly care for them crosses all age, gender, professional and financial boundaries.

Some of these hoarders suffer from significant mental health issues, and the phenomenon is as much a people problem as a pet problem.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, a California-based animal rights law organization, believes hoarding is the number-one crisis facing companion animals today because of the sheer number of animals affected (an estimated 250,000 annually) and the degree and duration of their suffering.

What separates animal hoarding from other types of cruelty is that the chronic neglect usually is unintentional. The vast majority of hoarders love the animals and try to care for them, but often have very limited insight into the nature and extent of their problem, explained hoarding expert Gail Steketee, a professor and dean at Boston University School of Social Work..." More

Some upset by outcome of Buxton kennel case

By Ann S. Kim

Police Chief Michael Grovo is holding a news conference Friday morning in reaction to the outcome of the case against a couple accused in a large animal cruelty case.

J'aime Kennel was the subject of a raid in August 2007 that resulted in the seizure of 249 dogs. The owners, John and Heidi Frasca, each faced 25 counts of animal cruelty.

Last week, they each pleaded no contest to five counts of animal cruelty in York County Superior Court. Under the agreement, 17 charges were dropped and the other five charges will be dismissed after 17 months if the Frascas adhere to certain conditions. Those include performing 60 hours of community service between them, not having more than a total of four animals and refraining from any criminal activity.

The outcome has left some people involved with the case confused and upset. Some of their feelings stem from not being notified in advance about where the case was heading.

Christine Fraser, state veterinarian for the Maine Animal Welfare Program, said the dogs suffered from a range of medical problems, including conditions contagious to humans, dental disease, untreated injuries and behavioral problems..." More

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Neighbors complain about animal hoarder

By Taylor Barnhill

HARRIS COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Imagine having to hear dogs, birds and other animals at all hou of the day, and being overwhelmed by the stench of feces all because your neighbor won't clean it up. That's what one woman says is happening in her Harris County neighborhood. After hearing their complaints, News Leader Nine investigated.

Half a dozen dogs, dozens of birds and several other wild animals are held in cages all around this Harris County home, and neighbors say they are literally sick from it, "Everybody is complaining. Basically it's the odor, the smell, the unsanitary conditions, that's my concern. Just like the other neighbors are concerned too."

Neighbors also say not only is the property an eye-sore, but they are concerned for the well-being of this lady's pets, "There are numerous animal cages that have pigeons and birds. Sometimes she'll have ducks, she has dogs in cages as well. The living conditions of those animals is horrendous. Animal poop everywhere and the dogs are howling and you see its just nasty conditions over there."..." More & video

Thank you to reader "T" for sending me this link.

Dozens of dogs saved by the Humane Society

by Katharine Greene

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – In western Kentucky, the Humane Society has taken in sixty-five dogs that were rescued from horrible conditions. An Owensboro rescue group took the dogs from a man who was hoarding them.

The case apparently is in the hands of the county sheriff's office.

"It was a matter of life or death right now because all of the ones that are up there," Carmel McLeod of Owensboro Humane Society said. "Like I said some are coming in bags. So it was either the rescues intervene or they're all going to die on their own.".." More

O.C. sets trends in fight against hoarding


I hadn't thought so much about rats since a bedtime discussion, years ago, that came after my stirring reading of the Pied Piper.

Orange County isn't Hamelin. But the guy I was listening to at a recent meeting of the Orange County Task Force on Hoarding was definitely discussing rats.

It takes a moment to process the relationship between piling up stuff in your home and rats, and then, when it hits you, it's kind of horrifying.

Hoarding is a mental disorder that compels people to collect too much stuff and then to have great difficulty getting rid of it. The result can be a home that is unhealthy and hazardous.

John Drews, an inspector with Orange County Vector Control, says that since 2007 his agency has handled 42 cases of hoarding..." More

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Animal Hoarding In The Northland

Several northern Minnesota communities have experienced some of these cases in the past year.

Two Hibbing residents were recently charged for a combined total of 67 counts of animal neglect.

Last fall Animal Control Officer Alyssa Garcia and local authorities walked into what they describe as the worst case of animal hoarding they have ever seen.

"We weren't in there very long, we could only stay in there a second and we had to get out cause the smell it just instantly burned your eyes and lungs, even with the masks and everything on," said Garcia.

With furniture torn to shreds, and piles of cat waste, food, and litter stacked more than a foot high Garcia says 34 cats were caught in live traps from this particular residence.

All of them had to be put down due to medical complications..." More & video

ANIMAL HOARDING: Number of farm animals found inside an unkempt home

es Moines police say they discovered farm animals inside a home they went to as they investigated another matter.

Officers went to the house on Sunday, the 20th of March and found the door ajar. Police say a makeshift kennel with two pigs was found in the kitchen and two rabbits were in a closet. They also found a cage on a bedroom dresser that had several chickens in it. A Styrofoam container with as many as 15 eggs in it was under a lamp.

Police say the carpet had numerous stains. Dirty clothes and garbage was strewn about and cat feces were found throughout the house.

A 5-year-old girl living at the house was turned over to her grandparents. No charges have been filed..." More

Injured firefighter speaks out about dangers of hoarding

By: Jennifer Parks

TEMPE, AZ - Tempe fire captain Mike Kuehl looks like he suffered a bad sun burn, but the burns on his face could have taken his life.

Kuehl says he was putting on his fire gear in the doorway of a Tempe home Friday when an explosion rocked the house, located near Minton Drive and College Avenue.

"I'd never been shot with a shotgun, but it felt like getting pelted with a bunch of rocks or BBs on the side of your head," he said. "I could tell initially my ear got burned."

Nearly four days later you can still see the burns on his face..." More & video

Duval County Animal Care and Protective Services Busy with Animal Hoarding Cases

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Investigating animal hoarding cases is keeping officials with Animal Care and Protective Services in Duval County busy.

The reason for the increase is the change in the county's animal control ordinance, said Scott Trebatoski, the division chief with animal care.

They no longer have to wait for the situation to escalate to an animal cruelty case before investigating, he said.

In the last three months, since the change went into effect, Trebatoski said an extra 300 animals have been brought into the shelter, because of animal hoarding..." More & video

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pet rescue transports give hope, worry to animal shelters

By: Tom Breen

KINSTON, N.C. — Every day, hundreds of animals are taken in trucks, vans and cars from overcrowded Southern shelters, where euthanasia rates sometimes reach 70%, to states in the North, where puppies and kittens are not as plentiful.

It's a labor of love for those whose main goal is getting the animals off death row, but it can also have a dark side ranging from unscrupulous operators looking to make a quick buck to well-meaning incompetence.

Animal advocates say the transports are here to stay, thanks to a supply and demand imbalance between the South and the North, where spay and neuter programs are far more widespread. These advocates want to create standards to ensure pets aren't taken from overburdened shelters to an even worse fate.

"If you could take a truckload of dogs and cats up to Connecticut, and somebody is going to pay you $100 a dog, you're going to get as many animals as you can on that truck," said Kimberly Alboum, director of the North Carolina chapter of the Humane Society of the United States.

"It's quite a market at this point, and it's really creating problems as far as unscrupulous transporters and unscrupulous rescuers," she said.

The worst-case scenario for Alboum is a situation like the one described by police in North Carolina's Rockingham County last October. Sheriff's deputies charged Thomas and Amber Adkins with misdemeanor animal cruelty after finding around 90 dogs on the couple's property..." More

Disturbing Animal Hoarding Case

Cops find dozens of dogs and cats living in deplorable conditions..." Video

Ind. pets suffer from hoarders, poor conditions

Although a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy and some type of psychopharmacological intervention is typically recommended to people who collect animals in staggering numbers, treatment is often difficult with a low rate of success.

Thus, a recidivism rate among animal hoarders that is nearly 100 percent.

In "the worst case I'd ever seen," Lucas recalls going to a South Bend house five years ago, where a man was found hoarding "70 to 80 cats."

After removing most of the cats, Animal Control worked with the man to reduce the number to the legal limit of three, then left him to tend to his pets.
They followed up a year later to see how the man was doing.

"We found about 45 cats," Lucas says.

Although the Humane Society urges jail time for repeat animal-hoarding offenders, the usual consequence involves a fine and/or mandatory counseling.

Not that any legal or personal consequences mattered to Vicki Moon, who was recently jailed and charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty after authorities removed 17 dogs, 15 dead dogs and three dead cats from her home in an unincorporated area of
Lake County near Schneider.

Detective Michelle Weaver, who executed a search warrant on Moon's home, told the Times of Northwest Indiana that neighbors said Moon had been living out of her car for years because the animals destroyed her house. .."

Dead Animals Found In Cedar Rapids Garage; Woman Charged With Abuse

By Jeff Raasch

EDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Criminal charges have been filed against a woman whose animals were seized from her Cedar Rapids home last month.

Jennifer Wood, 36, has been charged with 35 counts of animal abuse and two counts of unhealthy and unsanitary conditions after officers took 32 dogs, two cats and a parrot from her home at 308 30th St. Dr. SE on Feb. 17. A dead dog and dead cat also were found in bags in her garage, authorities said.

Animal Control and Care Manager Diane Webber said charges were filed late Thursday afternoon. She said Wood’s attorney called her Wednesday, but Wood’s whereabouts are still unknown.

Webber said the city will seek to recover costs for veterinary care and shelter fees for the animals that were seized, which currently amounts to $25,000. She said the animals are continuing to recover.

“When I said before that this puts a huge burden on the shelter, I wasn’t kidding,” Webber said. “Tåhe amount of veterinary care they need is just mind-blowing.”

Webber said in order for the criminal charges to hold any weight, Wood must be served. Rumors have swirled that Wood is now out-of-state, and Webber said she is considering options to track her down..."
More & video