Thursday, June 23, 2011

Animal Rescuer Pleads Guilty in Hoarding Case

An animal rescuer charged in connection with an apparent animal hoarding case pleaded guilty during her trial Monday after reaching an agreement with prosecutors in Prince William County, Va.

Janet Lynne Hollins, 52, once operated an animal rescue group called Janet’s Rescues and Placements. She was convicted in October of inadequate care of animals after police found 27 dogs and 50 cats roaming her townhouse in the Birchdale section of Dale City in August, according to

Hollins appealed her conviction and a new trial began Monday, but as the proceedings got under way, she and the prosecutor agreed on a plea deal. In exchange for a guilty plea to 40 counts of inadequate animal care, prosecutors are dropping dozens of other counts and she will receive three years of unsupervised probation. Animal control officers can perform surprise inspections of her home..." More

Animals seized in Pinal County neglect case

FLORENCE, Ariz. — Pinal County Animal Care and Control has seized several animals said to be living in deplorable conditions.

Authorities say the woman who had been hoarding the animals started renting her Gold Canyon home a few years ago.

When an air conditioning repairman was called to the home, he found an odd assortment of animals living amid layers of pet urine and fecal matter in multiple rooms.

The repairman notified the property owner, who then notified Animal Care and Control.

The animals consisted of 49 cats, three dogs and four birds, including a hen with a broken leg..." More

Compulsive Hoarding and 6 Tips to Help

Therese Borchard

It's been a while since I covered the topic of compulsive hoarding, because the last time I did I posted photos of my nut collection and book pile, and the next thing I knew I was being contacted by Discovery Disney to be "fixed" on some hoarding special. Seems like that's kind of a pattern, now that I think about it. I go public with my stuff ... I get invited onto shows!

Well, anyway, I was reading an article in the Fall 2007 issue of The Johns Hopkins Depression & Anxiety Bulletin, an interview with Gerald Nestadt, M.D., M.P.H, Director of the Johns Hopkins Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Clinic, and Jack Samuels, Ph.D., an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. Wow. That's a lot of school..." More

Choices: Strategies for overcoming hoarding behavior

Last week I discussed the concept of hoarding, sharing that behavioral professionals now believe that hoarding is a type of obsession compulsive disorder (OCD). It is a serious and complex condition that gets worse with age. Like any disorder, the first step toward recovery is that the person suffering from it must get out of denial and admit that they do have a problem. This is usually the most difficult step toward any recovery.

To help suffers and their families begin to come to terms with the hoarder’s problem, David Tolin, the director of the Anxiety Disorder Center at Hartford Hospital, has developed a “Hoarding Rating Scale.” The scale asks respondents to rate questions on a scale from zero to 8 (0 equals “no difficulty” and 8 being “extremely difficult”)..." More

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crockett, TX Hoarding Case

Animal Rescue Corps team members and volunteers respond to a hoarding/abandonment case in rural Crockett, Texas where the lives of more than 80 dogs were in jeopardy. Compassionate individuals battled flea infestations, heat exhaustion, and dangerous terrain for days to provide relief to these suffering dogs and prep them for transport to shelters and rescues for additional medical treatment and eventual placement in adoptive homes. These dogs were suffering immeasurably and ARC is very grateful for the generous support of American Dog Rescue and The Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation which made this rescue possible..." More & video

Picture by: Animal Rescue Corp.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cat hoarders catch a break — for now


Crazy cat ladies can breath a sigh of relief — for now.

Toronto city council voted to put off dealing with Councillor Josh Matlow’s call for a crackdown on animal hoarding at Wednesday’s city council meeting.

Matlow’s motion for a more coordinated effort in how the city deals with animal hoarding will now be dealt with at the next meeting of Toronto’s influential executive committee.

“This can’t be a problem that continues to linger; it is time for action,” insisted Matlow. “Animal hoarding is a problem in virtually every neighbourhood in Toronto.”

According to city staff, there were 259 complaints for residents keeping too many cats in 2010, up from 236 in 2009 and 243 in 2008. The city received 145 cat odour complaints in 2010, up from 91 in 2009 and 197 in 2008.

The rookie councillor said he’s “incredibly confident” a recommendation supporting his hoarding crackdown will come back to council from the committee.

“I haven’t heard a single councillor tell me they won’t support this at the end of the day,” Matlow said..." More

Police discover animal hoarding case in Cambridge

Police in the Village of Cambridge discovered a massive case of animal hoarding.

SPCA investigators and Cambridge-Greenwich police discovered a home on Rock Side Drive in Cambridge loaded with at least 5 dogs, several cats and animals including rabbits, chinchillas, exotic birds, turtles, hamsters, and guinea pigs.

Investigators and social services were first called to the home after they received a call about a dead rat on the property..." More

SPCA Rescues Dozens Of Cats From South Philadelphia Home

The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals confiscated numerous cats from a South Philadelphia home Sunday evening.

The PSPCA and police arrived at a home in the 2100 block of South Chadwick Street at about 5:30 p.m. Upon their arrival, they found dozens of cats infested with fleas and lice scattered throughout the residence.

At this time, officers have removed 22 living cats and six that were dead. However, officers anticipate finding more deceased cats in the home during a secondary search on Monday.

PSPCA Director of Law Enforcement George Bengal described the scene as deplorable..." More

Pets freed from homes of hoarders

By Emily Anderson

Dogs barking at all hours of the night. Cats spilling out into the neighborhood anytime the front door opens. The stench of animal waste burning the nostrils of passersby.

That’s what many people think of when they imagine the home of an animal hoarder, a person who collects pets like baseball cards and often gets overwhelmed and can’t care for all of them.

The reality is, a hoarder’s house may look just like the home next door, Mesa County Animal Services Director Penny McCarty said. And with animal hoarding cases on the rise locally, a hoarder may just be in the home next door.

Animal Services has been involved in four animal hoarding investigations in the past 15 months. These have been the first cases McCarty can remember the agency handling since she began working for Animal Services eight years ago..." More

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hundreds of dogs seized from Caldwell County kennel

HUDSON — Caldwell County animal control officers seized nearly 300 dogs Thursday from a suspected puppy mill, where some of the animals were already dead.

The director of North Carolina’s chapter of the Humane Society of the United States said some dogs at Mason Creek Kennel had rotting teeth, infected jaws or ears closed from severe infections. Fur was so badly matted on some that their skin had split. Overgrown nails curled into pads on paws. And some females had infected uteruses from frequent breeding.

“They lived their whole lives in cages,” said Kim Alboum. “They’ve never touched carpet, heard a doorbell or a television. They don’t know any of the things that a normal companion animal knows.”

Kennel owner William Thomas Allen, who is confined to a wheelchair, said he depends on others to help him. He said he has two new employees who replaced two others who weren’t doing their job. Despite those problems, he said his dogs are healthy..." More

‘Underneath Every Hoarder Is a Normal Person Waiting to Be Dug Out’


In 1947, Erich Fromm, a humanist, psychoanalyst and philosopher, developed a theory of character that divided people into five “orientations,” mostly determined by their relationship to stuff. He characterized four of these — the receptive, exploitive, hoarding and marketing orientations — as part of the “having” mode, which is focused on consuming, obtaining and possessing. (The fifth orientation was “productive,” which focuses on experience and human connection.) Fromm specifically linked the hoarding orientation to the Protestant work ethic and the American merchant middle class and argued that this orientation is characterized by, among other things, being “constipated and squinty.”

You have to wonder what Fromm would make of A&E’s “Hoarders” or TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive” or Animal Planet’s “Confessions: Animal Hoarding” or any of the other reality shows on which discreet cameras follow psychologists, professional organizers and specialized cleaning crews into the terrifying homes of people possessed by an uncontrollable need to buy, collect or keep every old magazine, novelty bunny purse, errant pen cap, fast-food wrapper, thrift-store find, broken lamp, stray cat, marked-down sweat pants, newspaper clipping, commemorative snow globe and/or petrified dog turd that has ever crossed their threshold..." More

Sick, starving cats euthanized in animal-hoarding case

By Susan Jacobson

Fortycats confiscated Wednesday from a flea-infested home covered in animal urine and feces were euthanized Friday, Orange County Animal Services said.

Thecats were emaciated and gravely ill, so veterinarians decided that euthanizing them was the compassionate decision, said Kat Kennedy, an animal-services spokeswoman.

Some of the cats, which were lethargic from malnutrition, were locked in a room with no food or water, according to a report released Friday. A decomposed kitten was under the bed, they said..." More

Animal hoarding cases surging: N.S. SPCA

The Nova Scotia SPCA says it needs help to deal with a growing number of cases of animal hoarding around the province.

Earlier this month, the agency seized 52 cats from a single home in Sydney, said executive director Kristin Williams.

Investigators took the females and kittens first to prevent further breeding and sent them to animal shelters. The homeowner kept 15 male cats.

Williams said this case came on the heels of one in Halifax where 54 cats were found in a single apartment.

She said the SPCA receives up to three complaints a week this time of year during breeding season, and most of the cases involve more than 20 cats in one home..." More

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Nearly 200 Animals Seized From Home

Animal control officers say they busted a puppy mill and removed nearly 200 animals from a home in Wake County.

Officials say the dogs, ducks, pigeons and chickens were living under inhumane conditions at the home in Zebulon. Authorities found three dead dogs on the property. Three others showed signs of Parvo, a highly contagious and deadly disease and had to be euthanized.

The sick dogs were taken to an animal hospital.

The humane society says the owner was running a puppy mill and selling the dogs online. Charges are pending, and the rescued animals are being taken to shelters across the state. .." More

75 animals seized from Frazier Park property

FRAZIER PARK, Calif. — Seventy-five animals were seized Tuesday from unsanitary conditions at a Frazier Park property.

Kern County Animal Control had received a public nuisance complaint about the property on the 5000 block of Frazier Mountain Park Road, so an animal control officer went out to investigate. They found dogs, cats, horses, goats, chickens, roosters, a cockatiel, tarantulas and a variety of fish, according to animal control...

...David Enoch Birrel was arrested on suspicion of felony crimes against animals..." More

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Humane officers seize dozens and dozens of animals from a nasty Ohio home

Humane officers just seized dozens and dozens of animals from an Ohio home.

Officials say they were living in disgusting conditions and now two people are facing animal cruelty charges.

The home doubled as a garbage dump and health officials say was it was unlivable for anyone or anything.

More than 80 animals were removed.

"She's not one of the worse, but she's in pretty bad condition," said Dep. Kelly Schubert.

Sheriff's deputies showed 19 Action News just some of the animals removed from the Washington County home last week.

"Kinda nervous about her not making it," said Dep. Kelly Schubert. "35 dogs, 22 chickens, 2 ducks, 4 rabbits and like 20 domestic birds."

The home's exterior resembled the inside of a dumpster and the interior was compared to a sewage tank..." More

Washington woman hoards 100 cats

Berit Anderson

More than 100 cats were rescued from the home of a woman near Arlington Monday. The woman was featured in "Confessions: Animal Hoarding," an Animal Planet documentary series profiling individuals with animal hoarding problems.

Animal hoarding is actually quite common, according to a release from cat welfare organization Purrfect Pals. Though there are more than 3000 reported cases of animal hoarding each year, the organization said that at least ten times more cases go unreported. If you know someone who might be an animal hoarder, you can learn more at" More

Monday, June 13, 2011

21 cats rescued, 6 dead, in hoarding investigation


A South Philadelphia home is now the focus of a massive hoarding investigation. The SPCA found 21 cats inside.

"Deplorable" is what SPCA investigators are calling conditions inside Stephanie Sinkin's home on South Chadwick Street. Inside they found dozens of cats - many in poor health, living in piles of trash.

The work is not yet done at the house. L&I needs an administrative warrant so that they can go back inside and carry out debris from the home, which has been condemned. After that happens and the conditions are safer, PSPCA officials can go back inside to retrieve the remaining cats believed to be inside the home..." More

More Than 30 Dogs, 30 Chickens Seized At Ohio Home

Officials in southeast Ohio have removed more than 30 small dogs and dozens more animals kept in and near a trailer where three people live in a town along the Ohio River.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office says authorities took 30 dogs and about a dozen birds from the home on Friday. They also found 30 chickens, four rabbits and several more dogs on the property.

The sheriff says the property was covered in animal waste..." More

Animal hoarders targeted by Toronto


TORONTO - Councillor Josh Matlow wants the city to tackle animal hoarding more aggressively.

The rookie councillor is asking city council next week to give marching orders to staff to hammer out a way to deal with residents hoarding animals in their home in a timely manner.

Matlow came face to face with the problem in his own ward earlier this year.

Officials seized around 100 cats from a Manor Rd. home when they were finally able to enter it back in April.

The home reeked of cat urine and was stained with feces. Dozens of cats were seized at first while dozens more were found in the next few days as officials continued to search the home.

“It was just horrific,” Matlow said.

Matlow said he was shocked to speak to neighbours after the cats were taken away to find out the home had been a problem for years and the city services they called for help couldn’t deal with it because they couldn’t gain entry to the house.

He wants city services to work out a way so they can work together to respond to hoarding faster..." More

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hundreds of Animals Seized; Couple Arrested

Reporter: Brooks Jarosz

A couple is in jail after nearly 300 animals were seized in and around a home in Jackson County in what police call one of the biggest animal cruelty cases ever.

Kimberly and Seth Maher both were charged with 63 counts of animal cruelty and are in jail.

Jackson County Sheriff's deputies served the warrant Friday, finding dogs, cattle and farm animals underfed and living in filthy conditions.

"Deplorable conditions in this place, not only in the residence, but the animals around," Chief Deputy Tony Boggs said. "Deceased animals, burned animals, malnourished animals and just about every size, breed and kind were up there."..." More

Animals seized from Little Hocking home

By Sam Shawver

Area officers rescued more than 80 animals from an "unlivable" Little Hocking mobile home Friday and charges of animal cruelty are expected to be filed.

The Humane Society of the Ohio Valley's shelter on Mount Tom Road was nearing capacity Friday when the 82 animals were added to the shelter population.

"We were already about 85 percent full but now we're at about 130 percent capacity and we need some help," shelter manager Steve Herron said Friday night.

Thirty-five dogs, 11 birds, four rabbits, two ducks and 30 chickens were removed from the mobile home at 3265 School House Road, Little Hocking, according to a report from the Washington County Sheriff's Office. Nearly all the animals were inside the trailer..." More

Animal Hoarding: Indentifying the Disease

The welfare of animals is very important in American society, and American families own more pets today than ever before. According to the 2011-2012 American Pets Products Association National Pet Owners Survey, 62 percent of American households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 million homes. Unfortunately, of those pets there are hundreds of new animal hoarding cases each year.

Animal hoarding is a prevalent topic in mainstream television today due to the popular cable network shows. Even though the public is more aware of this issue, it is still a very cryptic and confusing topic for many to comprehend. The lack of studies and information about this disease make it a hard one to diagnose and treat.

“There have been a variety of definitions for animal hoarding produced over the years, but there are common themes in how it is typically conceptualized,” says Dr. Derek Bergeron, psychologist for Texas A&M University Counseling Services and satellite clinician at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM). “Generally, animal hoarding is indicated by the accumulation of a large number of animals, overwhelming a person’s ability to provide minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, and veterinary care. Typically, failure to acknowledge the deteriorating condition of the animals (including disease, starvation, and even death) and the household environment (severe overcrowding, very unsanitary conditions) is demonstrated. Similarly, there is typically a failure to recognize the negative effect of the collection on the hoarder’s own health and well-being and on the well-being of any other household members.”..." More

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New Book

No Room For Me: Children of Hoarders

by: Grace Brooke & Natasha Rosenstock

he FIRST self-help book for CHILDREN of HOARDERS!

Part pop-culture snapshop, part self-help, part memoir.

Are you looking to hear stories from other children who have gone through the same thing you have; or simply a voyeur, fascinated by hoarders?

An estimated six million to fifteen million people in the United States are hiding a big dirty secret. They are hoarders. Shockingly, many of them have children living in their hoard. Those parents that don’t may have had their children taken away; their children may live with a different parent; or they are adults living on their own.

Each of the aforementioned scenarios presents a different challenge for the child and the hoarder

Many familial relationships have been irrevocably harmed by a parent’s hoarding. Until now, non-fiction, self-help books about hoarding have all focused on the hoarder.

Together with Grace Brooke, professional organizer and also the child of a hoarder, Natasha Rosenstock will examine the lasting effects of growing up with a hoarding parent in the upcoming book, No Room for Me: Children of Hoarders...." More

The Psychology of Hoarding [Infographic]

Link to readable graphic: here


Las Vegas – On Thursday, June 9, Wayne Newton welcomes 200 rescued lovebirds to live permanently at Casa de Shenandoah. The Animal Planet new hit series, Confessions: Animal Hoarding, documents the story of the lovebirds’ journey from a hoarding situation to the freedom of Casa de Shenandoah. The lovebirds arrive just in time to get fully acclimated to their new sanctuary before the opening of Casa de Shenandoah at the end of the year.

The birds were rescued from a home where the owners allowed the 200 lovebirds to live freely in their house. With mutual agreement from the family, the show, Confessions: Animal Hoarding, rescued the birds and temporally moved them to Gilcrease Nature Sanctuary before relocating them to their permanent home at Casa de Shenandoah..."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Books

The Secret Lives of Hoarders: True Stories of Tackling Extreme Clutter

By Matt Paxton


On the front lines with extreme hoarders

The Secret Lives of

Hoarders is much more than harrowing tales of

attacking the ugliest, dirtiest, and most shocking hoarding cases in the country. It is a behind-the

-scenes look at this hidden epidemic- what it means, how to recognize it before it

gets out of hand, and how to deal with it.

Through his work with hundreds of clients in the

worst circumstances- from the giant "rat's nest" that hid more than $13,000 in cash to a vast cache of cartoon pornography to twenty-five years' worth of unopened mail-Matt Paxton has learned to understand this disorder and his clients' impulses to collect, to speak the hoarders'

language, and to reach out to them with compassion and concern while avoiding

criticism and judgment. Most important, he guides compulsive hoarders

successfully through every step of the clean-up and healing process.

The Secret Lives of Hoarders is an engrossing and sometimes unsettling

look at extreme clutter but one that helps hoarders, their families, and their

friends to find meaning in the chaos..." Amazon link

The Hoarder in You

by Dr. Robin Zasio

Pub. Date: November 2011


The once little-known condition of hoarding has become a household phrase—in part due to the popularity of the Emmy Award–winning television show Hoarders, which has captivated audiences with its stark and heartbreaking look at the people who suffer from this paralyzing condition.

Our fascination with hoarding stems, according to Dr. Robin Zasio, from the fact that we all fall somewhere on the hoarding continuum. From compulsive shoppers to hobbyists and collectors to ordinary, run-of-the-mill pack rats—to some degree or another, we all hoard.

Dr. Zasio shares behind-the-scenes stories from the show, including some of the most serious cases of hoarding that she’s encountered—and explains how we can learn from these extreme examples. She also shares psychological and practical advice for de-cluttering and organizing, including how to:

-tame the emotional pull of acquiring additional things

-make order out of chaos by getting a handle on clutter

-create an organizational system that reduces stress and anxiety..." Amazon link