Monday, January 31, 2011


Thank everyone who participated in our

and the WINNER is:

JEN !!!

Jen - please em your address to
So your autographed book may be sent!
Thanks to Jessica & all those that entered and follow this blog!


Exciting News
Animal Hoarding News & Info
is having it's first Giveaway!

After featuring Jessie Sholl's book
Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding
she contacted us and offered a free autographed copy!

And because one kindness deserves another,
we are giving 1 lucky follower an autographed copy!!!

The rules for entering the contest are below:

How to enter: Entering to win is simple. All you need to do is follow us 1 of 2 ways...

via using the "Follow" button (located in the upper left hand side of your screen, you must have a Google e-mail acct to follow)


via our Facebook page (scroll down for the Networked Blogs box on the right hand side).

You need to follow us once (and please, only once, duplicates will be disqualified), to participate in the giveaway. If you already follow us, then you are already participating and need not do anything more.

We will randomly select one winner from our followers on Jan 30, 2011, 6pm PST. The winner of the giveaway will have 24 hours to respond to a direct message from AHNI to claim their autographed book! Failure to respond within 24 hours will disqualify you from the giveaway and another winner will be chosen.

We want to thank Jessie Sholl for her GENEROUS donation!

When her divorced mother was diagnosed with cancer, New York City writer Jessie Sholl returned to her hometown of Minneapolis to help her prepare for her upcoming surgery and get her affairs in order. While a daunting task for any adult dealing with an aging parent, it's compounded for Sholl by one lifelong, complex, and confounding truth: Her mother is a compulsive hoarder. Dirty Secret is a daughter's powerful memoir of confronting her mother's disorder, of searching for the normalcy that was never hers as a child, and, finally, cleaning out the clutter of her mother's home in the hopes of salvaging the true heart of their relationship--before it's too late.

Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding is available at fine bookstores, including Boarders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon & IndieBound.

Watch the trailer for Dirty Secret HERE, and read more of Jessie's thoughts about compulsive hoarding, memoir, and other pertinent obsessions on her BLOG.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Humane Society Rescues More Than 150 Dogs from TX Home

Jan 30, 2011: Humane Society Gets Custody Of 245 Seized Animals

The Houston Humane Society has been awarded custody of 245 animals it seized from a Northwest Houston home.

he Houston Humane Society said between 150 and 200 Chinese crested and Chihuahua mixes were among the animals living in severely unclean and deplorable conditions at the house in the 15300 block of Oaklawn Park Drive.Humane Society officials said the 63-year-old woman who owns the animals started out as a breeder, but stopped selling the animals, which continued to breed indiscriminately.Harris County Precinct 6 deputies and the Humane Society served a warrant and seized the animals on Jan. 20..." More & Pictures

Jan 20, 2011: Humane Society Rescues More Than 150 Dogs from TX Home

The Houston Humane Society's R.A.I.D.E.R. team rescued 150-200 Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mixes Thursday from a private residence located at 15318 Oaklawn Park Dr. in northwest Houston.

For years the dogs have been living inside the residence in severely unclean and deplorable conditions. By all accounts, the owner started out as a breeder but at some point stopped selling the animals, who continued to breed indiscriminately resulting in this out of control situation..." More & video

Animal Hoarding Horrors

Reporter: Nicole Morten

More than 50 cats confiscated from a home in Brazos County are being treated for various medical conditions. Earlier this week we saw the graphic pictures of the animals being removed and the filth that not only the animals, but the family was living in. But the message to this story is rooted far beyond the love for animal.." More & video

Owner surrenders 40 cats


Officials at the Sarnia-District Humane Society are scrambling to find homes for 40 cats after a bizarre incidence of animal hoarding.

"We need to get these adoptions going," said Ontario SPCA officer Nicole King, who is assisting with an ongoing investigation after shelter officials received a call from a concerned neighbour, noting a strong odour, about two weeks ago.

OSPCA officers were called to the residence, where the homeowner surrendered 40 cats, which were all taken to the shelter.

The incident, said King, is an unusual but not uncommon case of animal hoarding.

"The main concerns are lack of food and water, sanitation and veterinary care," she said, adding that many animals also become under-socialized and easily frightened..." More & video

Hoarding horrors


When hoarding hits the headlines, it is rarely a good news story.

This past week, in a disturbing case of animal hoarding, officials from the Etobicoke Humane Society removed 30 malnourished and sickly cats from a senior’s apartment. Two felines had to be euthanized.

The alleged hoarder, identified by neighbours as Veronica Kunicki, faces possible criminal charges of permitting animals to be in distress.

Hoarding has been on the radar in Toronto in a big way since September, when the packed paper contents of an alleged hoarder’s apartment fed the flames of a devastating fire at 200 Wellesley St. Hundreds were left homeless.

When cases of severe hoarding go public, few people try to understand what’s behind the debilitating condition.

“Hoarding is completely non-prejudiced,” says Carolyn Caldwell of Wellrich Organizers. Caldwell is a certified professional organizer specializing in hoarding, or chronic disorganization (CPO-CD).

“There are people in Rosedale whose homes are filled to the roof.”

Television shows like Hoarders often depict men and women who live in squalor, cannot hold jobs, or fit into society. Those are extreme cases. Most hoarders fly under the radar..." More

Trial Delayed for Finley Woman Accused of Animal Cruelty to Cats

By Chelsea Kopta

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- KEPR is continuing to cover the Finley woman accused of hoarding and then abandoning dozens of cats.

Niki Delahunt won't go to trial now until April 25th. She is charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty.

Several cats were found dead in the Finley home she once rented. Others were put down.

The Benton County prosecutor's office calls the case "deplorable."

She's pleaded not guilty..." Video

Thursday, January 27, 2011

MOVIE: Pack Rat

Director / Writer: Kris Britt Montag

A profile of two families whose lives have been shaped by hoarding and the “packrat” behavior of one family member.

Filmmaker Kris Montag’s father chained a row of shopping carts to the front-yard fence of the family’s Brooklyn home. He piled stacks of old newspapers in the kitchen until it became impossible to use the sink; when his wife threw them away, he became furious. The father of cinematographer and co-producer Jessica Jennings lives on a farm, so his “"collecting"” is less obvious, until he takes you into his enormous barn, filled to the ceiling with items he thinks might be useful someday.

Hoarding behavior like this can seem amusing, unless you have to live with it every day. This compelling personal documentary takes us inside two families whose lives have been shaped by parents who are “"packrats,"” and have trouble balancing their love for their spouses and children with their obsessive accumulation of “"things."”

It also looks at what we know about the causes and progression of this odd but by no means uncommon phenomenon. Many clinicians and researchers now believe that hoarding behavior is related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), though it may also sometimes be a symptom of Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Montag interviews a social worker who talks about the difficulty of dealing with elderly hoarders in a hospital environment, and with Randy Frost, a leading clinician and researcher, who addresses the hope of treatment for the disorder. She also introduces the owner of Disaster Masters, a company specializing in crisis management for hoarders whose collections have created serious health and safety problems in their homes.

Watch the movie: here

Local agencies tackle issues with ‘hoarding’


The Cape is not immune to the health issue dubbed "hoarding."

Lee County Animal Services responded to a home in the city late last year that had more than 70 cats and three adults living in conditions officials describe as near squalor: Unsanitary conditions throughout the house and cats in various states of physical duress.

Officials say hoarding conditions were so bad that firefighters were hampered fighting a fire at the residence a little over a month later.

Lee County Animal Service's Chief Officer Adam Leath is trying to find ways to fight hoarding, which has come into the national spotlight recently due to reality shows on satellite and cable.

Leath formed a task force for that very purpose, and its second meeting on Wednesday in Fort Myers was filled with what Leath described as "good dialogue" among the various agencies that attended the meeting.

Mental health services, law enforcement, code enforcement, private business and non-profit groups all have to find a way to work together, Leath said, not only for crisis prevention, but to provide help in the long run..." More

Woman found hoarding cats a second time

ORONTO, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- For the second time in two years, 30 cats were removed from the apartment of an elderly woman in Toronto, animal control officials said.

A humane society official went to the west end apartment over a store Friday to speak to the unidentified woman, but she slammed the door on him, the Toronto Star reported Wednesday.

Jerry Higgins said he returned four hours later with a warrant and police officers.

They removed 30 cats, many of them ill with respiratory infections, Higgins said. Two of the cats were so ill they had to be euthanized. The remainder were divided among three animal shelters and won't be put up for adoption until they recuperate and pass quarantine observation, the report said.

"Thirty cats were rescued from the same address two years ago," Higgins said..." More

Bozrah woman faces animal cruelty charges

A Bozrah woman says she is not guilty of mistreating animals.

arol Mayefsky was in court on Monday to face 14 counts of an animal cruelty after authorities say they seized five birds, a dog and seven cats from her home after an investigation lasting several months.

She was arrested after repeated efforts by animal control officers to get her to clean up her property that authorities say was strewn with tons of trash, animal waste and infested with fleas.

The animals were placed in protective custody.

The town even paid to have about three tons of trash hauled away..." More

Animal Hoarding Horrors More & video

City's first 'animal hoarders' are indicted

By Thomas Tracy

A Williamsburg couple are the first people indicted under New York’s new animal-hoarding law — and the two are now facing one to two years in prison for keeping over 100 animals in a loft in Williamsburg.

Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes said that Michael Fiore, 51, and his wife Hazel Fiore, 57, had the cats and kittens stuffed into a filthy, feces-filled third floor space on Metropolitan Avenue between Manhattan and Graham avenues that they had rented for their silk screening business.

Their hoarding wasn’t discovered until last July when five of the cats — two of which were blind — fell through the urine-soaked and rotting floorboards into the hallway below, prosecutors said.

The ASPCA then launched an investigation and entered the loft, finding a fetid feline prison: a stifling, garbage and feces-strewn loft filled with flee-infested cats suffering from malnutrition and a host of other ailments.

Many of the cats were left blind from eye infections, while others were dehydrated, emaciated and had respiratory problems.

But they were the lucky ones: several decaying cat carcasses were found throughout the loft, officials said.

Michael Fiore — who admitted to not properly caring for the cats — was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and the overdriving, torturing and injuring of animals. If convicted, he faces two years in prison.

His wife Hazel was charged with a misdemeanor count of overdriving, torturing and injuring of animals and faces one year in jail if convicted, prosecutors said..." Link

More than 50 Cats Rescued from Home, Now Undergoing Treatment

The pictures are disturbing. A home covered in fiflth and filled with animals. It might seem like a nightmare, but it was a reality for a man and woman in East Brazos County. Brazos County Sheriff's deputies along with the Brazos Animal Shelter were called to a home where more than 60 cats were living inside a filthy home..." More & video

Animal-welfare bill headed for further study

By Olmpia Meqla

A Richmond-ara delegate wants to set aside for further study his proposed changes to animal-welfare laws, a bill that had drawn fierce opposition from animal advocates. Del. R. Lee Ware., R-Powhatan, introduced the measure. In part, it would allow pet-store owners and dealers suspected of giving inadequate care to animals to self-impound the animal with supervisied care if it's not immediate danger.

The animal would be subject to seizure if it's under a "direct and immedite threat" or "the owner or cutodian is unable to or does not provide adequtate impoudment."

The measure would also scrap a penalty for people who have been convicted of animal cruelty and who then sell companion animals again.

Robin Starr, CEO of the Richmond SPCA, rallied opposition to the bill.

"This is the most cold-hearted assault on the well-being of animals, on abused animals and on the laws that exist in Virginia to protect and care for them, that has ever been seen," she said in an e-mail to supporters..." More

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cold couple busted for rotting cat corpses, tortured tabbies in Brooklyn loft

BY Kerry Burke and Oren Yaniv

A callous couple was charged Friday for hoarding dozens of felines - some missing eyes and teeth - in their filthy Brooklyn loft, prosecutors said.

Michael and Hazel Fiore face a 252-count indictment for keeping the tortured tabbies in a rented Williamsburg loft that reeked of decomposing cat carcases, feces and urine. The extent of the horror came to light in July, when five kittens, two of them blind, fell through urine-soaked rotting floorboards from the third-floor space to the loft below..." More

Andrea Acomb - Riga, NY

Jan 25, 2011: Not Guilty Plea in Animal Hoarding Case

by: Sean Carroll

Andrea Acomb, 62, had no comment after pleading not guilty at her arraignment in Riga Town Court on Tuesday. Acomb is charged with five counts of Animal Cruelty, a misdemeanor, and for allegedly housing more than 150 animals on her property and keeping them in poor living conditions.

In December Humane Society investigators claim they found cats, dogs, chickens, horses, and a goat at Acomb's Riga home. They claimed many lived in their own waste, were malnourished, and lacked access to fresh water. Investigators further stated that in 2006 they also removed certain animals from Acomb’s home. The home has since been condemned by local officials.

"There are repeat visits,” Humane Society Investigator Reno DiDomenico said of previous investigations involving Acomb. “She has had prior contacts with us but not to this extent.".." More & video

Dec 28, 2010: Over 150 Animals Rescued from "Uninhabitable" Home

About 150 animals were taken from a Riga home police are calling "uninhabitable."

Monroe County Sheriffs say they went to the home Saturday after Lollypop Farm received an anonymous tip about suspected animal cruelty.

Police say many dead animals were found at the home, and others that were neglected. They have not released the name of the homeowner, nor have they said whether that person will face charges.

All of the rescued animals, including cats, dogs, ducks and horses, are being cared for and evaluated at Lollypop Farm where managers say the animals could not have survived in the environment they were in.." More & video

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pet Smart Charities Rescue Waggin

If you are a humane organization you can request assistance from PetSmart Charities.

From their site:

Request Help - Emergency Relief
We provide emergency relief funding and supplies to assist pets in three different types of situations:

- Large-scale disasters (e.g. hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters
- Multiple-animal rescue disasters
- One-animal victim of violence

PetSmart Charities is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal-welfare issues, and promotes healthy relationships between people and pets. The largest funder ofunder of animal-welfare efforts in North America. PetSmart Charities has provided $100million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations. Our Vision is a lifelong loving home for every pet.

Please visit their website for complete details, forms and guidelines.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hell house: Pets live in torment among corpses


heir mouths were muzzled and wrapped in so much tape they couldn't breathe, bark or eat. Their fur was matted with filth and the house was crammed with so much trash, it hid the floor.

A Long Island mother and daughter were arrested yesterday after more than a dozen tortured dogs and cats were rescued from a filth-riddled Rockville Centre home that included more than two dozen decomposing animal remains, cops said.


Judge Anna Anzalone teared up as prosecutors showed pictures of a dog skull with tape still visible on it, as well as the squalor in the small house.

Faith Ross, 54, a secretary, and Francesca Maselli, 24, a nursing-home aide, pleaded not guilty and were being held at the Nassau County Jail on more than $75,000 bail each on three felony animal-cruelty counts.

Hempstead town officials were tipped to the wretched conditions inside the seemingly sedate Montauk Avenue home when someone complained about the smell coming from the house.

When officials arrived, the dogs could be heard barking and there was a smell of gas, so Animal Control as well as National Grid were called in.

Inside, authorities said, they found a nightmare: 15 dehydrated, trembling animals covered in urine and feces, amid two feet of trash on every piece of flooring, and the rotting corpses of dozens more.

There were six Chihuahuas, three dachshunds, an English bulldog, a Yorkshire terrier, a Shih Tzu, a boxer and two cats among the survivors. Another pooch, a collie mix, was taken directly to an animal hospital for emergency care.

They also took several pounds of matted, dirt-encrusted fur from around the home. A new car in the driveway was packed with trash, grocery bags and cans of dog food.." More

Thank you to "T" for forwarding this story

Walter W. Boza - Monteville, Connecticut

Jan 19, 2011: Montville hoarding case leads to cruelty charges

Montville police on Wednesday arrested a Groton City man on multiple animal cruelty charges stemming from the discovery of more than 40 animals living in squalid conditions at a Montville apartment.

Walter W. Boza, 39, of 85 Bishop Lane, Groton, was presented in Norwich Superior Court to face five counts of animal cruelty.

His arrest stems from a Nov. 17 inspection of apartment No. 15 at 1591 Norwich-New London Turnpike, where Montville Animal Control Officer Christian Martel was met with the strong odor of ammonia and feces even before she opened the door.

Inside the apartment, Martel described a cluttered, flea-infested apartment with more than 40 animals, floors covered in animal excrement, empty water bottles, moldy dishes, beer bottles, several dead animals, rotting food and “insects flying throughout the apartment in swarms.”..." More

Dec 19, 2010: Animals Rescued from Hoarding House


The Montville dog pound is now filled to capacity after 40 animals are found inside one apartment. Many of the animals were malnourished and sick.

Police were called to the Mountain View Apartments after a neighbor complained about a strong odor. There they found the animals inside a one-bedroom apartment.

“It was a little overwhelming,” said animal control officer Christian Martel. “My first concern was getting these animals in a cleaner better facility.”

The apartment has been condemned and the owners could be facing charges. “I could not imagine something terrible like that. The neglect is disgusting,” said neighbor Rafael Lespeir.

So far two of the animals have had to be put down, but the town is trying to get the rest of the animals adopted..." More

Nearly 100 emaciated, abused animals found at Idaho ranch

By Laura Zuckerman

Authorities have seized nearly 100 emaciated and dehydrated animals, including two nearly dead horses, from a ranch west of Boise, Idaho, in a case that animal welfare workers described as one of the worst in their memory.

Some of these animals are as bad as they can get, I'd say close to death," Patricia Vance, director of shelter operations with the Idaho Humane Society, said on Wednesday.

The hours-long rescue began on Tuesday after an initial investigation by sheriff's deputies in southwest Idaho and the state Department of Agriculture determined the condition of the animals was too dire to delay.

The seizure by the Idaho Humane Society included 30 horses, 20 goats, 18 sheep, 13 Llamas, 10 pigs, one dog and at least one cow.

Veterinarians were forced to kill a young horse and a young goat on the spot because of their extreme suffering..." More

What is animal hoarding? Is it like hoarding lots of objects? Can people be cured?

Karen L. Cassiday, PhD

When most people hear about animal hoarding, they recall shocking news stories or imagine the “crazy cat lady.” They immediately side with the rescued animals, rarely considering the life of the hoarder or what led to this behavior.

The term "animal hoarding" refers to the compulsive need to collect and own animals for the sake of caring for them that results in accidental or unintentional neglect or abuse. Most hoarders of animals fall victim to their good intentions and end up emotionally overwhelmed, socially isolated, and ultimately alienated from family and friends. The problem causes immense suffering for both animals and people. It also creates great expense for local animal shelters and may require regional and national efforts to find homes for large numbers of animals.

A Growing Concern

No one really knows the number of animal hoarders, but reports in the media and to animal control and law enforcement agencies have increased five-fold in the past decade. Approximately 40 percent of object hoarders also hoard animals. Hundreds of thousands of animals are affected each year, and the Internet may make it easier for hoarders to engage in animal rescue. And like object hoarding, this problem is underreported and hidden because animal hoarders tend to come to the attention of mental health professionals and animal control authorities only when others complain..

Specific Problem Areas

Animal hoarders have problems with acquiring animals, handling and managing, and , getting rid of them. Compulsively reading animal-adoption websites, visiting shelters on euthanasia days, or searching alleys for stray animals can lead to acquiring too many pets. Frequently hoarders imagine all the wonderful ways in which they can save or rescue animals. They have every intention to care for their pets, but their difficulties with organization, attention, and focus make it easy for them to keep their living spaces very messy with animal waste and clutter; many have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Hoarders have a hard time letting go of their objects or animals because they have a terrible time making even simple decisions; for example, “Is this dog my favorite or should I adopt him out?” They also may have subtle memory problems and feel that they cannot trust their recall, so they keep things to preserve memories...

...The Numbers Speak

  • Every year 3,500 animal hoarders come to the attention of authorities.
  • At least 250,000 animals are affected each year.
  • Between 2 and 5 percent of the general population meets criteria for hoarding (both objects and animals).
  • Eighty percent of animal hoarders have diseased, dying, or dead animals on the premises.
  • Seventy percent of animal hoarders who come to the attention of authorities are females who are single, widowed, or divorced; although community-sampling studies find an equal ratio of males to females.
  • Up to 40 percent of object hoarders also hoard animals.
  • One hundred percent of hoarders relapse without treatment.

See Dr. Cassiday on Confessions: Animal Hoarding on Animal Planet (check local listings)

Karen L. Cassiday, PhD, is Clinical Director and Owner, Anxiety & Agoraphobia Treatment Center in Northbrook, Illinois, and Clinical Assistant Professor, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Sciences" More

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Puppy love: Neglected animals seized in Fayette County will need good homes

By Tina Hinz

No one knew how the situation would unfold when Fayette County deputies and animal control officers arrived to search a home as part of an investigation Wednesday morning.

Vania Warns had a control rod ready when a three-legged mastiff mix appeared.

"A lot of times dogs don't like people in uniforms," said Warns, a medical technician and officer with Black Hawk Animal Control in Waterloo.

She has been doing her job long enough, though, that the animal's body language suggested this dog was no threat. Warns used a leash to load the mastiff into her van.

"At that point, I didn't know if we were going to follow through with neglect charges," she said.

Authorities seized three cats and 22 dogs at 6238 40th St. in rural Aurora. Their owner, Susan Purcell-Varnell, 56, faces 22 counts of animal neglect and was cited for failure to dispose of carcasses and violations of dealer and commercial breeder's license.

The dogs are a variety of Chihuahuas, a mastiff, a pit bull, terrier mixes and German shepherds. The Animal Rescue League in Des Moines took 12 dogs, and the Cedar Bend Humane Society in Waterloo is holding 10 and the cats.

The dead animals were sent to Iowa State University for autopsies.

Josh Colvin, cruelty intervention coordinator with the Animal Rescue League, said the animals lacked food and water. A couple of the animals had leg injuries, he added, and others may have parvo, a contagious viral infection.

Sanitation also was an issue. Dogs defecated in a room, creating high levels of ammonia, according to Warns..." More

150 dogs seized from breeder's home

by Jackie Bartz

MONTANA CREEK, Alaska — Animal care staff in the Mat-Su Valley worked through the night Monday to remove more than 150 dogs from a breeder's home.

Alaska State Troopers arrived Monday evening at the Montana Creek home of 53-year-old Frank Rich of Willow, near Mile 92 of the Parks Highway, to investigate a report of animal neglect.

Troopers say when they arrived at the house on Kashwitna Drive, there was no food or water for the dogs. There were about 150 dogs on the property.

Troopers say nearly all the dogs were malnourished and dehydrated. The animals were shivering and eating snow and their own feces. An additional 22 dogs that had already died were found on the properly, apparently dead from exposure, starvation and dehydration. They say there could be more dead dogs on the property.

About 30 of the dogs are puppies. Some are just a few weeks old.

Troopers arrested Rich for 50 counts of cruelty to animals and remanded him to to the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility. He was arraigned Tuesday morning on the Class A misdemeanors, and a judge entered a plea of not guilty.

Rich is held on $5,000 bail. If he posts bail, he cannot own dogs.

Rich told troopers he lost his job in October and was having a tough time supporting the dogs for his breeding operation..." More

24 dogs seized and house condemned in Fayetteville


FAYETTEVILLE - A Fayetteville couple's home was condemned and 24 dogs were seized Friday after a humane officer with a search warrant allegedly found unsanitary conditions inside.

They maintain the condemnation is the result of an ongoing dispute with several of their neighbors.

Franklin County Humane Police Officer Floyd "Buck" Hessler confirmed that he seized animals from the home of David and Peri Flory at 617 Brookens Road in Greene Township.

Hessler arrived at the house about 1 p.m. Friday, but no one was home so he "forced entry" to get inside, which is allowed under law with a search warrant. Once inside, Hessler said he determined "it was so bad" that he needed to contact the Greene Township supervisors.

"It was a mess," he said.

Hessler declined to discuss specifics about the conditions inside the house, pending charges that he intends to file sometime next week. He said he took more than 400 photos for evidence.." More

Woman wants cats back after 64 seized

An Elrose woman who had more than 60 cats and other animals seized by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is asking for the public's help in getting them back.

On Jan. 12, the Saskatchewan SPCA removed 64 cats, one dog, one iguana and seven turtles from a home in Elrose, about 160 kilometres southwest of Saskatoon.

According to the SPCA, the animals were rescued and were assessed by a veterinarian who confirmed they were in distress.

The animals are now being cared for at the Saskatoon SPCA..." More

Dogs rescued, now shelter full

By Brenna R. Kelly

The Gallatin County Animal Shelter is over capacity after the facility took in 17 dogs Thursday. The dogs were rescued from a woman who was hoarding animals, said shelter manger Amanda Timm.

Some of the dogs, mostly Jack Russell terrier mixes, were chained to trees or kept in rusted wire cages at the home on U.S. 42, she said.

The woman agreed to give up the 17 dogs but kept 10 dogs and several cats, Timm said..." More

Virgina: General Assembly considers bill to reduce animal hoarding

House bill 2312 would require home-based rescues from getting animals from shelters unless they prove they are legitimate rescue organizations..." Video

Marshall resident appears on Today Show to discuss animal hoarding

Patrick Nolan

Marshall's Carolyn Root made one of her first public appearances on the Today show Friday morning to speak about her experiences and strains as a recovering animal hoarder.

"We would spend $350 a week on dry dog food," Root told Today show host Meredith Vieira.

The financial strain of taking care of more than 80 dogs sometimes reached up to $20,000 per year.

"I figure I spent $200,000 feeding dogs. It's starting to mess with my head," said Ronnie Root in a clip of the Animal Planet show shown on the Today Show.

"I guess I just kind of overlooked (the financial strains) because it wasn't an issue," Carolyn said. "We would get behind on our bills every month but it wasn't an issue. Feeding the dogs was an issue."..." More & video

Local feline group helps s

By An episode of “Confessions: Animal Hoarding” on the Animal Planet network will feature Whisker Connection, a local feline advocacy group.

The show will air Jan. 28 at 10 p.m. and feature Whisker Connection’s involvement in a cat hoarding situation in southeastern Ohio in 2010.

Whisker Connection was contacted last summer by a producer from the Animal Planet program “Confessions: Animal Hoarding” to assist with a hoarding case involving more than 85 cats.

Part of Animal Planet’s plan was to try to find homes for the cats involved. Whisker Connection agreed to use its facilities to be a holding area for those rescued cats that were healthy enough to be adopted.

“They spayed and neutered all the cats that had not been spayed and neutered,” said Tara Smith, co-founder of Whisker Connection. “They flea-treated them, treated them for internal parasites, the whole works. And we took them to rehab them to get them up to adoption condition.”

Whisker Connection took in a total of 63 cats from the home. It is still caring for 30 cats from the case.

The episode will also feature an incident of pit bull hoarding..." More

Fifth-grade teacher arrested for child abuse in animal-hoarding case

By Al Everson and Pat Hatfield

The woman arrested for child abuse in connection with a case of animal hoarding in Deltona is a fifth-grade teacher at Blue Lake Elementary School in DeLand, the Volusia County School District confirmed this afternoon, Wednesday, Jan. 12.

Teacher Robyn Harms, 46, and her husband, 50-year-old Keith Harms, were both arrested on charges of child abuse; bond was set at $2,500, the Volusia Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies went to the home with Deltona code-enforcement officers at the request of the City of Deltona, whose code-enforcement officer had been to the home on an unrelated issue in December and smelled a strong odor coming from the home at 2984 Cottondale Drive.." More

Experts: Animal Hoarding Based On 2 Problems

The discovery of 78 rabbits found in a Howard County home on Thursday raises questions on animal hoarding and what to do if a friend or loved one has the problem.

Police are still investigating the homeowners of a Columbia house where the 78 rabbits were found Thursday. The animals were healthy but the home was not fit for them to live, investigators said.

While police have yet to say whether animal hoarding was an issue in the case, mental health experts said it's much more prevalent than one might think..." More & video

Monday, January 10, 2011

ABC Nightline: The Life of Animal Hoarders

: The Life of Animal Hoarders video: here

Hoarding may become an official disorder

By Stacey Burling

Hoarding may be bizarre enough behavior to sustain several reality TV shows, but, surprisingly, it isn't an official psychiatric disorder.

That may change in May 2013, and University of Pennsylvania therapists will play a key role in the decision.

Penn Medicine is one of seven institutions chosen as field trial sites for the forthcoming edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5. Therapists at Penn's outpatient mental health clinic will test how well the revised guide to mental illnesses, which introduces hoarding disorder, works in the real world. They'll see whether therapists agree on diagnoses for patients with generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and hoarding, anxious depression, binge eating, and personality disorders.

The current 943-page DSM was updated in 2000. It is used for research and billing. It is also a measure of how society distinguishes normal behavior and eccentricity from illness.

The challenge is to more clearly define mental illnesses "within the context of culture," said Mahendra Bhati, a Penn psychiatrist who will lead the field trials here.. More

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Animal hoarding may masquerade as pet rescue

By Steve Dale - from December 1, 2008

When Barbara Rabe, co-founder and president of the Arizona Chihuahua Rescue, received a call asking if her group could accept over 100 dogs - she thought it was a cruel joke. Hardly.

Over 800 animals, mostly small dogs, as well as 82 parrots, were confiscated from a single triple-wide mobile home on March 12 in Tucson.

The Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania SCPA orchestrated a raid on March 13 to recover about 1,000 cats from Tiger Ranch in Tarentum, near Pittsburgh, a place that local officials referred to as "A death camp for cats."

On March 11, police donned hazardous-material suits to rescue 117 starving and diseased dogs from a "shelter" in Sand Springs, KY, including 40 dogs that were either dying or already dead.

So, what's going on? It's a psychological illness called animal hoarding. And some say it's on the rise, though no one knows that for sure.

While these three dramatic cases made national news, Dr. Gary Patronek, vice president animal welfare for the Animal Rescue League of Boston, and an author of many papers on animal hoarding, says five or six hoarding cases cross his desk daily.

"Historically, collecting animals was viewed as an animal lover who gets in over his or her head," says Randy Lockwood, senior vice president for anticruelty initiatives and legislative services at the ASPCA. "One popular press story (in the late 1980s) referred to the person who kept almost 1,000 animals, including hundreds of starving, mange-infested dogs crowded together behind locked doors in dark, airless barns as 'Dr. Doolittle.".." More

Chicken farmer faces new charges, this time in Connecticut

By Emily Groves

Officials from Connecticut and Massachusetts painted a picture of abysmal conditions the animals suffered under the care of Tang Quan "Jason" Lin, formerly of Milford.

"Size-wise, just the scale of this neglect is something I haven't seen in my 25 years in this department," said Wayne Kasacek, assistant director of the state Department of Agriculture's bureau of regulation and inspection.

Kasacek said he was tired and sore yesterday after spending more than seven hours at Lin's chicken operation, the culmination of a four-month state investigation. Late Thursday night, inspectors, many wearing protective clothing, found numerous dead animals, filth and the appearance that none of the thousands of birds on the facility's ground floor had been fed or given water in days.

The stress from the lack of food and water and the filth, combined with avian disease, made euthanasia the "most humane" option, Kasacek said. He said all of the chickens and two ducks had to be destroyed..." More

Friday, January 7, 2011

BOOK: Dirty Secret, by Jessie Sholl

When her divorced mother was diagnosed with cancer, New York City writer Jessie Sholl returned to her hometown of Minneapolis to help her prepare for her upcoming surgery and get her affairs in order. While a daunting task for any adult dealing with an aging parent, it's compounded for Sholl by one lifelong, complex, and confounding truth: Her mother is a compulsive hoarder. Dirty Secret is a daughter's powerful memoir of confronting her mother's disorder, of searching for the normalcy that was never hers as a child, and, finally, cleaning out the clutter of her mother's home in the hopes of salvaging the true heart of their relationship--before it's too late.

Praise for
Dirty Secret:

"Sholl explores the psychological reasons why being merely a pack rat can erupt into full-blown hoarding. By the end you're sympathetic to both mother and daughter and understand how a parent's obsession can become a child's."
-- People magazine, 3.5 stars (out of 4).

"Suspenseful and novel-like, Dirty Secret is a wonderful, respectful introduction to the world of a hoarder and the tribulations suffered by both the individual who hoards and their family members."
-- Fugen Neziroglu, Ph.D. author of Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save and How You Can Stop

"Affecting and illuminating."
-- Kirkus Reviews

"[Sholl] offers a compelling and compassionate perspective on an illness suffered by an estimated six million Americans that has only recently been explored through reality television programs."
-- Booklist

"From a literal mess of a childhood, Sholl has emerged to tell a compelling and sparkling-clean story that will captivate anyone who has ever tried to let go of the past."
-- Elisabeth Eaves, author of Bare and Wanderlust

Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding is available at fine bookstores, including Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and IndieBound.

Watch the trailer for Dirty Secret HERE, and read more of Jessie's thoughts about compulsive hoarding, memoir, and other pertinent obsessions on her BLOG.