Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Unwanted, Discarded, And Dead

By Kelly Davis | Opinion Editor

"I think about a sweet little black lab who stayed up for adoption for two months … She looked at me with her big, brown, trusting eyes, gave me her paw when I asked for it, and licked my face while I injected her with euthanasia solution."

The above confession of a eutha nasia technician on an animal advo cacy blog shows how widespread the devastating effects of animal overpopulation can be. While the overpopulation of unwanted animals is clearly a problem that needs to be addressed, another problem that should be addressed is how we irre sponsibly address the problem of unwanted animals.

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that of the 6 to 8 million dogs and cats brought to shelters each year, about 50 percent of them are euthanized. The state of California alone spends $250,000 a year euthanizing 500,000 animals.

According to a study conducted by Charlie Reeve, Ph.D. of Purdue University and Steven Rogelberg, Ph.D. of Bowling Green State University, "The influence that eutha nasia-related stress holds on animal shelter employees can jeopardize their well-being on and off the job."

Los Angelesis trying to address the issue of unwanted animals anoth er way. At two recent town hall meet ings, city council members discussed with residents the possibility of rais ing the legal limit of dogs and/or cats that any one residence can own from three to five of each..." More

More than 70 animals seized in raid

By Jerome Lessard

A Demorestville home — crawling with more than 70 animals — was raided by the animal cruelty officers and the menagerie is now housed in cramped quarters at the Belleville anumal shelter.

Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officer Tex Ridder executed a warrant Tuesday afternoon at a 59-year-old woman's Demorestville-area home in Prince Edward County on County Road 5 near Bethel Road.

Inside 77 animals — 61 dogs, four cats, seven degus, four birds and one turtle — were found in what Ridder described as "unacceptable and unsanitary conditions.

"We had an informant who called our office [Quinte Humane Society]," said Ridder. "We are continuing to investigate and charges are pending against the 59-year-old woman. At first, she didn't seem to understand the balance of the magnitude of the the problem when we went to the house with the warrant. Obviously, she didn't have the necessary funds to look after those animals correctly."

The OSPCA officer added that most of the animals were found inside the house..." More

Hoarding: Rescuers in steel-toed boots


The City of Ottawa has a six-member team whose primary function is to deal with hoarders. No matter what they find, writes Maria Cook, they are never judgmental.

“How many people watch the TV show Hoarders?” Lise Barrette asks the audience.

Half of the 60 people in the room raise their hands.

Barrette, a City of Ottawa public health nurse, was speaking recently on a panel about hoarding for workers in social service and health agencies that deal with homelessness.

She knows more about hoarding than most. As supervisor of the city’s hazard prevention and management team, she receives more than 250 referrals a year — 90 per cent related to hoarding and ranging from mild to severe clutter..." More

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

« Back to Article 'Hoarding' Milford woman hospitalized

A woman living in the senior housing complex on Jepson Drive was removed her apartment Friday and taken to Milford Hospital after her unit was declared unfit for habitation.

Firefighters arriving at the apartment, in a complex managed by the Milford Housing and Redevelopment Partnership, immediately called in health inspectors and housing managers.

"We have a mental health issue here,'' a firefighter radioed back to the dispatcher..." More

The Dangers of Hoarding

Environmental Contractor Matt Ferro has quite the job.

"I do crime scene clean up, clean up of death scenes," says Ferro, who owns Kleen Scene, based out of Hamburg.

He also responds to the homes of hoarders.

"They have an obsessive need to keep things."

Lots of things.

Ferro has been to homes so cluttered it's hard to walk through the front door.

"You find dead pets-- or pets the family did not even know they had. In a lot of these houses there's stacks of paper-- things that can easily ignite, It's dangerous," Says Ferro.

And it's deadly too.

In just the past year, firefighters have responded to several house fires where clutter has been an obstacle for them.

In December of 2009, three people were killed in Cheektowaga after an apartment caught fire. Firefighters told Eyewitness News they had a tough time battling the blaze due to the amount of debris and clutter in the apartment..." More

Raising awareness against hoarding animals

By Sunni Blevins

Animal rescue groups hope a Virginia hoarding case will raise awareness about a danger that could be happening in your community.

A Beford man could face animal cruelty charges after authorities rescued 99 dogs and cats from his home.

Richmond Animal League actually has several cats available for adoption right now that were rescued from a home in Powhatan county after a hoarding case.

The authorities who responded to that Bedford home say this is the worst animal hoarding case they've ever seen. Nearly 100 dogs and cats living in deplorable conditions...." More

About 100 animals found inside trailer

by Sunni Blevins

A horrible case of animal hoarding, right here in Virginia. Dozens of dogs and cats were found living in dangerous conditions in a double-wide trailer in Bedford County.

Rescue workers in Bedford County are calling it the worst case of animal hoarding they've ever seen.

The Sheriff's Office says about a hundred dogs and cats were found in the trailer. Conditions were so bad, animal control officers had to wait for fire and rescue workers to give them the okay to go inside.

Reports from that area say neighbors could hear loud barking from inside the home. Those same neighbors told local reporters that the man living inside rarely left the home, and when he would leave he would triple lock his trailer. A number of citizen complaints sent authorities to the home..." More & video

Secret World Of Hoarding

It may be hard to imagine, living in clutter to the point where it may threaten health and safety.

But between 3 million and 6 million Americans have a disorder that causes them to hoard.

One Bronx man recently decided to tell his story of extreme hoarding to CBS 2’s Chris Wragge, and transformed his very life right before the cameras.

It looked like a bomb went off, but it was someone’s home — every inch, stuffed to near bursting. There were clothes, plastic bottles and bags, piles and piles of what seems to be junk. The door wouldn’t even open and the man who lived there hadn’t seen the floor in years..." More & video

Hoarding: The disorder of the decade

Dealing with ‘disposophobia’; Helping hoarders cut through the chaos to reclaim their lives is the aim of this pioneering Ottawa business.

Maria Cook

Sharen Bowen is the child of hoarders. Years later, she finds herself back in the chaotic world of unusual clutter — this time as a professional helper.

“It was very lonely,” Bowen, 63, says of her childhood in Brandon, Man. “Nobody came to visit.

“We used to joke about my dad that he would take a truck full of garbage to the dump and bring two back.”

At one point there were 11 furnaces in the garage.

“We never ate in the kitchen. It was full of tools,” she says. “You always ate on your lap in the living room.”

As an adult, Bowen pursued a career as a psychiatric nurse..." More

Sunday, September 26, 2010

News Police: Cat hoarder put 20 kittens inside freezer


Twenty frozen kittens were found Wednesday in an upright freezer in the basement of a row home in Drexel Hill, officials said.

Investigators believe an alleged cat hoarder, in custody for allegedly threatening an animal control investigator at gunpoint earlier this month, is responsible for stashing the felines in the freezer.

Denise Ann Merget, 58, of the first block of Leighton Terrace, Upper Darby, was taken into custody Sept. 10 at her house when state, county and local animal control officers and health department officers removed 59 cats from her residence and declared the property unfit for human and animal habitation.

This week, the township health department was tipped off by Merget’s neighbor, who reported suspicions of dead cats stored in Merget’s mother’s house on the 2200 block of Ardmore Avenue, Drexel Hill..." More

45 dogs seized from southwest Missouri home

Greene County authorities seized 45 dogs from a Republic home last week after multiple inquiries into the health of the animals and charges that the owner isn't a licensed breeder.

Capt. Randy Gibson of the Greene County Sheriff's Office said it could take weeks for charges to come against Gary Dotson -- if they come at all.

Gibson said sheriff's investigators are waiting on reports from veterinarians on the conditions of the animals.

"It's one thing if we think there may be abuse, but we wait for the experts," Gibson said.

He said he wasn't at the site and couldn't speak about how the dogs looked, but he said the animals were taken from the facility as a result of "inappropriate care and conditions."..." More

Collecting conundrum: Spotlight turns to animal hoarders, but why do they do it?

By Mike Peters

Across the country, incidents of animal hoarding are on the increase, and Greeley is no exception with three cases in the past year.

In the latest case, police and animal control officers have removed 260 cats — 127 live cats and 133 dead — from David Parsons' home, 810 26th Ave. The home has been sealed and labeled as “unsafe for human occupancy.” Parsons was removed from the house when the huge number of cats was discovered, and police are not saying where he's living at this time.

No charges have yet been filed against Parsons.

But Parsons is only one of a number of people who may be suffering from a mental illness that takes control of the lives of people who obsessively collect animals. In Greeley, 101 dogs and cats were removed from a home just four blocks north of Parson's home earlier this year..." Link

Officers seize 78 cats from South Austin apartment


A lone cat was seen wandering outside a South Austin apartment Friday. Neighbors say the cat was left behind by police last week during an animal seizure. The sight does not begin to tell what they found inside of apartment. In addition to 52 cats, police say they found 26 cats dead, most stored inside an unplugged refrigerator.

“There was quite a surprise to find not just that many cats inside of an apartment, but that many deceased cats in a location,” Sgt. Stephen Fleming with Austin Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Unit says.

Neighbor Tanner Moehle says he and a neighbor had complained about the odor and influx of cats.

“Nobody had any idea. Nobody had any clue there were that many in there,” Moehle says. “It's just unbelievable. I mean, we thought that she had three, and we were concerned about that. We didn't want that many cats in an apartment. I mean, they were just sick. There was one where its nose was just completely falling off, just skin defects and just gross, yeah. It's a health hazard.” .." More

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two cases of apparent animal hoarding dealt with by police

By Dustin Hughes
Thirty-five animals, 32 cats and three dogs, were removed from a home on the 3100 block of S. Summit Tuesday. Meanwhile, police said the home was deemed unfit for human habitation.

The removal came one day after two people were arrested on warrants stemming from a separate incident of dozens of cats living in a home.

Monday, Brenda Gail Hall, also known as Brenda Huff, and Karen Denise Wofford, living at 1007 N. Cleveland, were arrested on Tulsa County felony warrants of abuse by caretaker.

Assistant Police Chief Mike Carter said those warrants came from a March 3 incident when medical responders went to the house on Cleveland for a medical emergency.

A firefighter there was concerned about the large number of animals and unsanitary conditions of the house and contacted city code enforcement.

Carter said roaches, animal feces and urine smells were present in the home. Adult protective services were called because of the unsanitary conditions in the home.

An elderly woman was living at the house under the care of Wofford and Hall, Carter said. She was moved to a hospital. Warrants were issued for Wofford and Hall..." More

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Animal Hoarding and the Adoption Question

By: Jen Blood

Over the weekend, a friend e-mailed me this
link posted by Kimi Peck, who has been under investigation numerous times for animal hoarding in southern California. Her questionable activities have been documented on a couple of different sites, most notably the website Save the Chihuahuas. Though the content of Ms. Peck's letter in general is a little, shall we say off-center, it was one comment in particular that caught my attention:

"One of Tufts University definitions of a hoarder
A hoarder doesn't adopt out animals. No one can take care of the animals better than they can."

I was actually unable to find anything on the
Tufts website stating explicitly that animal hoarders do not adopt animals out, though the ASPCA does stipulate that with so-called rescue hoarders, "Little effort is made to adopt animals out." ..." More

You can read more by Jen Blood on her blog Dogged Writer. Her blog covers many dog-centric topics, including her insights &
experiences an animal hoarder in: "Rescue Hoarding: Excert from Memoir, Cats in the Cradle and Bullies in the Belfry".

Cat Hoarding - Greeley, Colorado

Sept 22, 2010: Police remove more cats from hoarder's Greeley home

By Mike Peters

After carrying live and dead cats from a central Greeley home for three days, police say they have probably reached the final totals of cats in the house — 107 live cats and 133 dead.

The owner of the home in the 800 block of 26th Avenue has not been identified by police, and was taken to the hospital for an evaluation soon after police discovered the cats in his home. It has not yet been determined if charges will be filed against the 54-year-old man.

According to police spokesman Sgt. Joe Tymkowych, the dead cats were found in plastic bags in the back yard and inside the house. The man isn't suspected of killing them, but when they died, he apparently placed them in the plastic bags.

Many of the cats, both living and dead, were kittens. One animal control officer said that when they first entered the house to remove the cats, they found kittens in one of the kitchen cupboards, where they'd apparently been born the night before.

While removing the cats from the house — both by Greeley and Weld County Animal Control officers — one officer was bitten by a cat. The injury was not serious, police said.

Police have also said the man was sleeping on the floor of the heavily cluttered home. Cat urine and feces covered some of the floors of the house, police said..." More

107 Cats Taken From Greeley Home

By: Valerie Castro

The owner of a Greeley home where more than 100 hundred cats were discovered living in squalid conditions has been taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation.

Greeley police say that since Saturday at least 107 cats have been trapped and taken to the Humane Society of Weld County. They also said that that more than 133 cats were also found dead in the backyard of the home, located at 810 26th Avenue.

Neighbors told CBS4 the homeowner is in his 50s and has had the cats for years.

"You could smell the cats. The odors were everywhere, it went through the whole neighborhood," neighbor Lyle Holm said.

"...the Humane Society is in desperate need of cat litter and food -- especially for kittens. Cash donations for medical care are also welcome. Visit their Web site for more information at" More

Maine woman guilty of animal cruelty

A Topsfield woman has been convicted of animal cruelty four years after 20 dogs and a cat were seized from her kennel.

Margo Malpher, also known as Margaret Kathleen Nickerson-Malpher, is expected to be sentenced in November for having unclean conditions in 2006.

Prosecutors also plan to ask for reimbursement for the animals' care after Malpher sued the state over the seizure.

Not until 2008 did the Maine Judicial Court rule that the state had the right to take the animals.

Until then, the state had to provide the animals shelter and medical care until they could be adopted later.

The Bangor Daily News says prosecutors plan to ask Malpher to reimburse the state for those expenses which could total $100,000..." More

Cat Ladies Society - Youngstown, Ohio

Sept 22, 2010: Vigil Held for Cats Taken in Cat Ladies Raid

Dozens showed support tonight for the Cat Ladies Society in Youngstown after they were raided.

The shelter is responding to accusations of animal hoarding and neglect.

"Come on down. Take a look at our shelter. Talk to our volunteers. Look around and judge for yourself," Cat Ladies co-founder Kimm Koocher said.

Wednesday they got word that 64 of the 80 cats taken during the raid were euthanized..." More

Sept 16, 2010: Humane Agents Raid Cat Rescue Facility

The Cat Ladies Society has been in operation for about two years. Its mission is to provide a rescue center for cats, and it does not euthanize.

"We started the Cat Ladies Society to give cats a chance that might not otherwise have a chance," said Kimm Koocher, who owns the facility. "Generally cat shelters are very overcrowded, and cats that come in with special needs or other issues are euthanized."

But on Wednesday, their operation was shut down. Just as they were preparing to celebrate the grand opening of a new facility, they were raided by the humane society.

"Complainants were reporting to us that animals were living in filthy, substandard conditions and being deprived of proper veterinary care," said Stephanie Bell, a representative with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

PETA officials said they received those allegations last week and informed local authorities. Youngstown humane agents conducted a raid Wednesday and seized around 80 cats..."
More & video

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Baillieu pledges to act on rogue puppy 'factories'

By: Gary Tippet

ANIMAL abuse and torture practised by rogue puppy farm operators will be stamped out under a state Coalition government, Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu has promised.

''We want to shut them down, that's the bottom line,'' he told The Sunday Age yesterday.

Mr Baillieu today will announce a series of measures against badly run puppy factories or ''mills'' - where dogs are treated as breeding machines, kept in crowded and unsanitary conditions with insufficient food and water.

These include massive increases in fines for cruelty and for improperly registered or illegal businesses, tougher regulations on the lucrative trade in puppies to overseas markets and the confiscation of profits and assets from cruel or outlaw operators.

The proceeds from seized assets and profits and from fines will be pumped into animal welfare agencies such as the RSPCA, the Lost Dogs Home and the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, said Mr Baillieu. The RSPCA will be given long-sought powers to enter, investigate and seize animals from puppy farms and other companion animal breeding businesses that breach the code of practice.

Mr Baillieu said the conditions in rogue and illegal puppy factories caused physical, behavioural and psychological problems and were ''clearly cruel''. ''They are not only making the lives of the animals miserable but causing grief to many, many people,'' he said..." More

Fire breaks out on property filled with junk and hazardous materials

By: Maile Tua'one

fire broke out on a Grantsville property filled with junk vehicles and hazardous materials. Authorities said no one was seriously injured but they have cited the man they believe started the fire. Fire crews said hoarding is partly to blame for the extensive damage. "This is the second time we've been out here in a month and it's a real problem," said Chief Pam Rowley.

John Beirman said the fire started while he was building a trailor. "I was just grinding and I didn't even know the grinder was throwing sparks," Beirman said. He said he tried to put the fire out but it spread to a dozen vehicles. Fire fighters said they are worried about exposure to hazardous materials. "Batteries, propane tanks, gasoline in these engines," Rowley said. "We also have coal burning at this point.".."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

When Possessions Lead to Paralysis


David J. Ekerdt, who directs the gerontology center at the University of Kansas, has a knack for digging into aspects of aging that most of us register only in passing. I’ve been a fan since I read his work on the “busy ethic,” a phrase he coined to describe our attitudes towards retirement.

So I was delighted to learn that in his new research, underwritten by the National Institute on Aging and undertaken with colleagues from Wayne State University, he’s investigating Stuff.

Dr. Ekerdt can’t document — yet — that Stuff often prevents old people from taking good care of themselves, especially when that involves moving to another location. “It’s entirely unproven,” he acknowledged in a recent conversation.

But the social workers, geriatricians, retirement community administrators and family members he’s been talking to since 2002 universally believe this: The sheer volume of objects in a typical household, the enormous physical and cognitive effort involved in sorting out what’s essential, the psychological toll of parting with what’s disposable — all can lead to a kind of paralysis that keeps seniors in place, even when the place isn’t the best place..." More

Friday, September 17, 2010

2010 Desert Paws Conference: Power & Action for Animals

October 9, 2010 - Newport Beach, California

Join Desert Paws for a fantastic gathering of animal advocates, lovers, caretakers, guardians & protectors.

Power and Action for Animals brings together nationally recognized leaders in the fields of animal rights, ethology, animal law, shelter management and adoption, animal rights education, and more, in a fast-paced one-day conference. Attendees will learn the most up to date information from the experts, with ample time for questions and discussion. Participants will enjoy a wide range of topics, including emotions and morality of animals, trends and challenges facing animal service facilities, animal fighting and its association with other illegal activities, the role of farmed animal sanctuaries, and much more.

Anyone who cares about the welfare of animals or who works with them will benefit by attending. Participants will gain inspiration and concrete tips on how to improve the lives of animals, both domestic and wild.

A vegan lunch and snacks are included. We look forward to getting to know you and seeing you at the Hyatt Regency in beautiful Newport Beach!


Hyatt Regency Newport Beach
(949) 729-1234

Featured Speakers:

  • Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder -The emotional and moral lives of animals and why they matter
  • Dr. Elliot Katz, DVM, Founder and President of In Defense of Animals – Why using the term “guardian” is the beginning of a new paradigm in our relationship with other species.
  • Eric Sakach, Senior Law Enforcement Specialist, Humane Society of the United States -Animal fighting and the relationship to illegal activities such as violent crime, gambling, drugs, and gangs
  • Steve Hindi, Founder and President of SHARK - Rodeos and other organized forms of animal cruelty
  • Laura Allen, Founder and Executive Director of The Animal Law Coalition - The legal aspects of animal welfare
  • Patricia McEachern, Ph.D., Drury University – Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professor of Animal Rights. Director, Drury University Forum on Animal Rights - Development and implementation of an undergraduate curriculum in animal rights.
  • Robert Miller, Director, County of Riverside, Department of Animal Services - "BITING THE BUDGET BULLET: Local and national animal care and controls in an economic downturn. Trends and challenges. A look back in history and a projection forward of how to meet the needs of America's domesticated animal populations with ever-changing resources."
  • Lorri Houston, Co-Founder, Animal Acres - "Meeting our Farmed Animal Friends: The role of the farmed animal sanctuary movement."
  • Virginia Handley. Founder and Legislative Director, Paw PAC - The California Legislative Update
  • Eric Mills, Action for Animals - Charreadas (Mexican -style rodeos), live animal food markets, and rodeo legislation

Ask Unclutterer: Why do people struggle with clutter?

From the site: Unclutterer

Reader Juliette submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer :

I know why I fight clutter: After a long day at work the last thing I want to do is housework. But is this the same reason as everyone else? Are we all working too hard and too many hours to take care of our stuff?

After years of doing what I do, I've found that most people who struggle with clutter fall into one of the eight following categories:

1: Overwhelmed by the task, don't know where to begin. Feeling overwhelmed can be paralyzing. When you are plagued with anxiety, it can be tempting to ignore the problem and just hope it goes away.

2: Fear of being forgotten, their stuff is the only proof they have lived. As humans, we know we're mortal but wish we weren't. Since the beginning of human history e have been looking for ways to be remembered. People who fear their mortality often have issues with this, expecially sentimental clutter..." More

Answers by: Erin Doland, Editor-in-Chief of Unclutterer & author of "Unclutter Your Life in One Week"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Which Came First: the Rescuer or the Hoarder?

By Stephanie Feldstein

he Associated Press recently reported that "rescues and shelters now make up a quarter of the estimated 6,000 new hoarding cases reported in the U.S. each year."

Taking in 7,000 cats over a 14-month period and only adopting out 23 of them is not rescue. Never was. That's hoarding.

The AP described that case of Tiger Ranch Cat Sanctuary as "one of an increasing number of self-proclaimed rescuers who have become animal hoarders running legal and often nonprofit charities." They got the self-proclaimed part right, but Linda Bruno was a hoarder long before she became a so-called rescuer.

Saying that 25 percent of "animal hoarders were rescuers" misleads people into thinking that hoarding is something like food poisoning that can happen to anyone, anytime. In reality, it's more like alcoholism, an addiction that's scratching at the surface even when a person appears to be under control.

Everyone who has been involved in rescue has said yes at some point to an animal who had nowhere else to go, when they probably should have said no. But hoarding isn't having more than the average number of animals or temporarily being over your personal capacity. Hoarding a complex psychological issue with unfathomably tragic consequences for the animals. It's not a case of someone just "getting in over their head.".." More

Humane society helps hoarded cats recuperate

Nine cats featured on an upcoming episode of "Confessions: Animal Hoarding" are recuperating at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia as they prepare to find new homes.

Humane Society President Rick Aiken was part of the team assembled by the Animal Planet television show that conducted an intervention for a White County woman whose home was overflowing with cats.

The network defines animal hoarding as a compulsive need to possess and control animals. The show aims to talk animal hoarders into making lifestyle changes for the benefit of themselves and their pets.

"It's up to the owner to relinquish them. It's their choice. The family and the friends come together to say these are the changes we'd like to see you make, and we help in facilitating whatever they feel is fit to have done," said Tim Lawrence, the field producer for the show.

Aiken said in the White County woman voluntarily released the cats..." More

Officials describe 'unsanitary' home animals seized from


owa City police and Animal Control officers testified Monday they had to wear hazardous materials suits and respirators when they entered the home of an Iowa City woman Sept. 2 to recover cats and dogs, some of which were long since dead.

Along with several inches of raw sewage in the basement, the officials described Susan Vess' home at 2816 Wayne Ave. as packed to capacity with boxes and other items and food, litter and animal waste covering nearly every surface of the home.

"It was very difficult to enter into the house," animal services officer Willa Hamilton said. "We had to step and climb over things. Everything seemed to be covered in dirt, animal hair (and) animal feces. ... It was very unsanitary."

Animal control seized several cats and dogs from the home earlier this month when they went to the residence and noted the unsanitary conditions. A cat seized from the home died before it could be treated by a veterinarian. When officials returned with a search warrant, they found animals suffering from severe flea infestation and living in decrepit conditions. They also discovered the carcasses of dead cats -- some frozen in two freezers and others just decomposing in the home..." More

Cat lover still trying to reclaim animals she was accused of poisoning

By Carl Hessler Jr.

With an obvious love and compassion for her onetime pets, Linda Muchnick says she's prepared to wage a court battle to reclaim the 18 animals she once was accused of trying to poison.

"I love them. They are my family. I am one of those people who loves animals more than anything else in the world. That's who I am, who I've been. I don't eat any animal food. I don't wear leather," Muchnick said Wednesday outside a Montgomery County courtroom where she is fighting to have the animals returned to their home.

"If I knew that something else would work for them, I would surrender to what's for their highest good. But I know I've got to fight like a proud warrior to recover them all because that's what they need. I truly believe in my heart that's what the Lord wants me to do," Muchnick, sometimes tearful, added during an exclusive interview.

The civil hearing, at which Judge Steven T. O'Neill will determine the fate of the 17 cats and one dog, was halted after Muchnick indicated she wishes to call a psychiatrist who evaluated her to testify about her wellness and when prosecutors and the judge indicated they want to hear from members of the Montgomery County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals regarding the condition of the animals..." More

171 animals seized from S. Arizona home

By Saman Golestan

Pinal County Animal Care and Control officers seized 152 cats and 19 dogs from a Hidden Valley home on Monday afternoon.

Seven Animal Care Officers arrived at the home to remove the animals, which took about eight hours according to the Pinal County press release.

“There were layers of feces on the floor throughout the trailer,” said Animal Care and Control Director Ruth Stalter. “It was shocking. This is the largest rescue from hoarding-type conditions in the history of Animal Care and Control.”

This is reportedly the second time Animal Care and Control had to remove animals from this Hidden Valley home.

The first was in 2004 when 98 animals were removed, according to the release.

The animals that were removed on Monday will go through veterinary check-ups and will be adopted out.

Valley residents interested in adopting animals can call the Citizen Contact Center at (520) 509-3555 or visit the shelter at 1150 S Eleven Mile Corner Road near the Pinal County Fairgrounds..." More

Photo: Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc.

Mange-ridden dog removed from Vineland home containing more than 50 animals

Anthony Bellano

A Vineland woman who had a dog confiscated from her Foster Avenue home this week has a history of issues hoarding animals.

The Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rescued a golden Labrador retriever from the home of Brenda Rhodes, 59, Tuesday.

Rhodes was discovered to have over 50 animals in the home, including chickens, cats, dogs, goats and pigs, according to a report aired on NBC 10.

“One dog was taken because he was found to be in such poor condition,” SPCA Executive Director Bev Greco said. “We took him and we have obtained pet care for him.”
Greco went on to say that multiple animals were found to be kept in unsanitary conditions.

Rhodes was served with two summonses, one for failure to care for a pet and one for unsanitary conditions..."

Agents find dozens of cats living in filth in Whatcom County cabin

Animal rescuers in Whatcom County say tenants of a rental cabin collected dozens of cats, and the conditions agents encountered this week were so vile, it's one of the worst hoarding cases they can recall.

"Inside the residence we encountered piles of urine, feces, garbage and 50 cats," said Laura Clark, executive director of the Whatcom County Humane Society.

The 60-year-old tenant living in this filth was evicted Monday for not paying rent. He turned over his cats to the Humane Society.

"(He was) very distraught, very emotional," Clark said..."

Reyne Gauge: Collecting or Hoarding?

There is a long standing joke among collectors that says we all have a touch of OCD or hoarding tendencies. But is it really a joke? Are we really hoarders masquerading as collectors? Just because we are collecting "things" instead of food, paper, or odds and ends etc doesn't necessarily mean we are good to go.

Let's take a look at some of the similarities:

Hoarder: Keeps random items in large numbers, sometimes to include trash, food, or random items that seem to have little to no value.

Collector: Is sometimes known to acquire collectibles in large numbers (sometimes broken, soiled and of little value).

Hoarder: Places sentimental attachment to items that would appear worthless to others.

Collector: Often collects due to nostalgic reasons.

Hoarder: Often feels a rush when shopping and acquiring items.

Collector: Loves the thrill of the hunt and will often buy something they would not normally buy if they cannot find something to acquire in their collecting genre to fill that "need to buy something" void.

So this leads to my next thought: Why does adding to our collections made us feel so good inside?

The Hartford Hospital in Hartford, CT states that often, compulsive hoarders feel distressed when they see something they want, and feel they cannot relieve the stress until acquiring that item.

I think this is a similar feeling collectors refer to as being "haunted" by an item we have walked away from, in that we think about how we should have bought it over and over. And when we do buy something, we feel a sense of release.

The media has started exposing celebrities that "hoard" items such as shoes, cars, and even pets. If you've watched Animal Planet you've probably seen their new show "Confessions: Animal Hoarding" Who would have thought? Paris Hilton is said to have 18 pets. Will we see her on that show next?

I spoke with my friend Janine Godwin, who is a Certified Professional Organizer with Nooks & Crannies this morning on the very subject. We wondered if the volume of shows on collecting would create a sense of justification for those who do hoard.

I also started to think about the similarities in shows on collecting vs. hoarding. Take American Pickers on the History Channel. One of my favorite collecting shows on air. It follows the two hosts, Mike and Frank on their picking adventures around the country. They visit with people who have inherited collections or have built them over the years. They browse through attics, basements and barns packed to the gills with hidden treasures, in hopes of buying a few to resale later. E very show offers a new stop, and shows the interaction with the owner of the items. You can see many of them struggle with parting with anything, although they have not looked it the items or used them in years..." More