Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bradley & Elizabeth Roden - Lakeland, Florida

Man Receives Probation in Animal Hoarding Case

A Lakeland man accused of hoarding animals has been sentenced to four years of probation.
In March, deputies seized more than 180 dogs from the Miranda Trail home of Bradley Michael Roden, 61, and his wife, Elizabeth Roden.
Bradley Roden accepted a deal Tuesday with the State Attorney's Office. He pleaded no contest to 20 misdemeanor counts of confining animals without sufficient food, water or exercise.
Roden was also facing a felony charge of possessing a short-barreled shotgun. However, prosecutors agreed to drop that count as part of the plea deal.
Bradley Roden was also ordered to perform 75 hours of community service.
Under the terms of the agreement, he cannot possess more than four animals and must follow any instructions for their care issued by Polk County Animal Control.
Elizabeth Roden continues to face misdemeanor charges..."  More

County Animal Control Officer Resigns After Review of Hoarding Case


When deputies arrived in March at the home of a couple accused of hoarding 186 animals in squalid conditions, they found more than neglected dogs.
On the same property, within 150 yards of the couple's home, lived their neighbor and tenant: a Polk County Animal Control officer.
Kristina Brinn, 29, rented a home from the couple for more than a year in North Lakeland and failed to report what investigators describe as the obvious animal cruelty occurring next door, according to a Sheriff's Office internal investigation.
The couple, Bradley and Elizabeth Roden, together face 60 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. Deputies seized their animals, investigators said, some of them ailing and in plain view of Brinn's home.
Investigators found that Brinn, an 11-year veteran of animal control, visited the Rodens four times in response to animal complaints before moving to their property near Rockridge Road in November 2009. She also attended their holiday dinners and birthday parties.
Brinn, who made about $31,200 a year, resigned July 8 as the internal investigation came to a close. If she hadn't, the Sheriff's Office intended to fire her.
A report on the investigation said Brinn claimed to have never seen the Rodens' dogs in distress. She suggested that reporting her landlords to deputies was not in her best interest.
"I didn't think with me living there I should just call in and say, ‘Hey, there may be something wrong there,' and cause more problems for myself," Brinn told investigators..." More

John Philip Benzing Allegedly Killed Wife Because He Was Angered By Stench From 50 Cats

A husband allegedly murdered his wife because he was fed up with the mess and stench from the 50 cats in their San Antonio home, prosecutors claim.
Prosecutors laid out their case that John Philip Benzing, now 61, used a hammer and kitchen knife to kill Leona Benzing, who was 79, because the house was squalid and she had deteriorated physically and mentally, The San Antonio Express News reported.
While his wife napped, Benzing allegedly cracked her head with a hammer, stabbed her twice and then cut her throat.
Benzing has come up with a variety of explanations for his wife's demise. When police arrested Benzing in 2009, he claimed that he and his wife had made a suicide pact, but cops didn't buy his story, accordingTV station KSAT. He also told authorities that his wife had abused him and in another version, said California bikers slew her in a botched extortion plot,The Express News said..."  More

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cedar Park will not limit pet ownership

By Benjamin Wermund

TEXAS - At least for now, Cedar Park will not limit the number of pets residents can own, Cedar Park police Capt. Jeff Hayes said at a community meeting tonight.
The potential of a seven-pet limit has been considered for some time by the city, Hayes said, and after the limit was brought up at a recent City Council meeting, residents spoke up.
At a meeting tonight to present proposed changes to the city’s animal ordinances, which have not been updated in a decade, Hayes said existing state laws and the rest of the proposed changes to the ordinance eliminate a need to limit pet ownership.
“Right now we’re not going to bring that part of this provision back to council. We will not be proposing a limit to animal ownership,” Hayes said.
The pet cap was originally proposed as a way to curb potential pet hoarding and puppy mill situations.
“Everybody says, ‘We want to prevent puppy mills.’ … There are state laws that prevent puppy mills,” Hayes said. “Animal hoarding — it’s becoming something that you can watch on TV. … A law is not going to prevent someone for hoarding animals.”
Though the meeting was intended to gather community input on the new ordinances, after Hayes’ announcement, few residents came forth to speak.
“Is there anything to comment on?” one audience member asked.
The rest of the updates to the ordinance bring definitions of terms like “dangerous” and “public nuisance” animals in line with existing state law. The two comments that citizens did present pertained to specific language, dealing with definitions of livestock in the ordinance and concerns over whether a dog eating crickets would be considered a nuisance animal, because it is hurting other animals.
Hayes assured them there is work left to be done on the ordinance, which would not be presented to the City Council for at least a month..."  Link

Cedar Park considers limiting number of household pets

TEXAS - City officials are considering a change to Cedar Park's animal ordinance.

At a meeting Tuesday, officials will address puppy mills and animal hoarding. Several people want to limit the number of cats and dogs to seven per household.
If approved, pets that are already legally registered to owners would be allowed to stay in their homes..."  Link

Animal hoarding cases strain already overcrowded shelters


There may be no cases for a year and then, all of a sudden, authorities locate an animal hoarder with dozens of pets, which are taken away to already overcrowded animal shelters.

Cary Moran of the Luzerne County SPCA said even one case of hoarding can be big enough to strain an organization that takes in stray animals every day.

This year, in just one week, the SPCA in Wilkes-Barre handled cases involving a woman who was found with 81 felines, another in which 12 dogs and one cat were hoarded in Dupont, and a third where six dogs and three cats were seized in Glen Lyon, she said.

Moran said statistically, cats are hoarded more than any other animal because in theory there are so many stray cats available and cats that aren't spayed or neutered can reproduce multiple times each year. A female cat can reproduce sometimes three times a year, each time giving birth to multiple babies, she said.

"It's Mother Nature's way of keeping them prolific but we don't need any more. Mother Nature needs to cut us a break," she said.

The SPCA, in conjunction with Valley Cat Rescue, offers low-income spaying and neutering to qualifying people based on a certain income criteria, she said. In some cases, spaying a female cat can cost $15, while neutering a male can cost $10, she said.

There are also other resources to obtain low- or sometimes no-cost spaying or neutering that can be found by searching online. A list of vaccination clinics also can be found there.

Lindsey Croll of the Hazleton Animal Shelter said people don't have to look too far to find an advertisement where someone is giving away free kittens to a good home, but sometimes those kittens are going to a home that already has too many cats that aren't properly cared for.

Likewise, strays that don't make it to the shelter are taking up abode in those same homes, and many of those cats are not spayed or neutered and some carry diseases fatal to felines, she said..."  More

Presentation to focus on hoarding - Gail Steketee, PhD

Arlington Community Education and the town’s Health and Human Services Department will host a presentation by psychologist Gail Steketee, PhD, titled “Buried Under Too Much Stuff: Understanding and Treating Hoarding.” The event will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Arlington High School’s Lowe Auditorium, 869 Mass. Ave. Admission is $10.

Everyone accumulates possessions, but what happens when too many possessions take over homes, offices, and lives? Recent media attention has focused on hoarded homes and quick fixes to clear them out. This discussion will focus instead on the emotions and behavior behind hoarding. Hoarding stems from difficulty making decisions, as well as mistaken beliefs about the value and meaning of objects. Steketee will examine the symptoms and features of hoarding, provide a model for understanding the problem and outline effective interventions.

Steketee is dean of Boston University’s School of Social Work, an expert on obsessive-compulsive disorder and one of the country’s leading researchers on the topic of hoarding. She is co-author of “The Hoarding Handbook” for human service professionals and “Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding,” which was featured this year in Newsweek, the New York Times, Salon, Time, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and NPR’s “Fresh Air.”

Appeals Court Decides Search Invalid in Hoarding Case

By Ashley Meeks

An investigation that led to a couple’s arrest for allegedly hoarding cats relied on “a warrantless search,” the New Mexico Court of Appeals has ruled.
The Mesilla home of Lester and Carol Boyse, a New Mexico State University research assistant and a department head, respectively, first came to the attention of police in 2008, when someone reported a smell, which was coming from two dead horses on the property, off Mesilla Hills Drive.
Mesilla Marshal Jeff Gray “saw evidence of numerous problems” and because the courts were closed for the day, called Magistrate Court Judge Oscar Frietze and obtained verbal approval for a warrant, according to the appellate court’s decision, which was issued Sept. 19.
Inside the home, authorities reported finding about 101 cats, including four dead cats in the freezer.
But the warrant under which officers made the discovery “was invalid and the evidence should have been suppressed,” the appeals court decided, in ordering that the case be sent back to state court.
The appeals court had not previously determined that telephonic warrants are not permitted in New Mexico, according to the opinion. New Mexico does not recognize telephonic warrants because they lack “a written showing of probable cause,” required by the New Mexico constitution. “The mere existence of a sworn writing is not enough to satisfy the requirements of (the constitution),” the court wrote, adding that it construed the constitution’s rules to mean “not simply that a sworn writing must exist somewhere, but also that it must be shown to and considered by the issuing court before the warrant issues.”
The opinion states that “with appropriate protections, telephonic warrants may well be useful and advisable,” but that “under our current law, telephonic warrants are not permissible. If New Mexico is to adopt them, it is for our Supreme Court to formulate rules that would render them valid.”
After the search, three living horses were placed in foster care, two reportedly suffering from severe hoof problems requiring at least a year of therapy. Only seven of the cats were deemed healthy enough to be saved, while 96 had to be euthanized due to upper respiratory infections, mouth ulcers and fight wounds.
Carol Boyse told investigators she tried to medicate the cats and find them homes, according to court records.
Most of the seized cats were wild barn cats, defense attorney Jeff Lahann said last year.
“They might feed them or whatever, but basically, Ms. Boyse is very big into animal rescue,” he said in 2010. “She donates lots of money and time to lots of organizations — throughout the country — that deal with animal rescue.”
In 2009, the couple entered no-contest pleas to 107 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals related to cat hoarding. A no-contest plea means the defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that if the case were to go to trial, he or she likely would be convicted.
Last year, state District Court Judge Fernando Macias sentenced the couple to the minimum sentence: five year’s probation and ordered them to have no more than three pets and to avoid business ventures that involve the care or housing of animals. The two had faced up to 106 years in prison, which the District Attorney’s Office said wasn’t realistic due to their lack of criminal history..."  Link

2009:  Couple entered no contest pleas to 107 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals related to cat hoarding

A Mesilla couple indicted on multiple misdemeanor and felony charges last year have pleaded no contest to 107 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals related to cat hoarding, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.
The newspaper said that according to a news release Thursday from the District Attorney’s Office, Lester Boyse, 59, and Carol Boyse, 58, entered their pleas Nov. 10. They face from five years’ probation to 106 years behind bars when sentenced.
No sentencing date has been scheduled, according to the Sun-News.
The newspaper said Lester Boyse is a research assistant in the New Mexico State University agronomy and horticulture department and Carol Boyse is department head of library systems at NMSU.
The charges against the couple came after authorities went to their home following a report of a smell, which was coming from a dead horse on the property, according to the Sun-News.
About 101 cats were found inside the home, including four dead cats in the freezer, the newspaper reported. Investigators also found three live and two dead horses, a pair goats, a peacock and other animals on the couple’s property..."  More

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hoarding in Seniors: Identifying the Five Levels of a Hoarder

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors is excited to announce our October Educational Webinar, “Hoarding in Seniors: Identifying the Five Levels of a Hoarder.” Certified Senior Advisor, Marilyn Ellis, will take attendees in-depth on this crucial topic that affects so many seniors today. The topics to be covered include:

 Understanding why hoarding affects so many seniors 
 The 2 most common mental disorders surrounding hoarding 
 Define the limits of what is possible when working with a hoarder
 Learn how to stay personally safe when working in a hoarder’s home

Join us for this powerful webinar being held on Thursday, October 27th 2011, at 12:00 PM (MST). Registration is free for all CSAs and $49 for the members of the public. Register now by visiting

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors (SCSA), provides free resources and tools for our members as an ongoing commitment that we have in helping professionals to understand the complex and dynamic lives of modern senior citizens.

About SCSA

SCSA’s mission is to educate professionals to work more effectively with their senior clients. For those who work with seniors, this means understanding the key health, social and financial factors that are important to seniors—and how these factors work together. For more information about SCSA and its educational course, please visit
Get Information on Similar Topics. Download them now for free:

The Consumers Guide to Seniors Housing

More About Medicare and Changes in 2011

The Consumer's Guide to Home Safety for Seniors

Erica Ananich, SCSA
(888) 538-2599

Refer a colleague today by visiting


Seminars offer support for those dealing with hoarding


Donalee Ping faced a daunting task in July after discovering a tenant in Sebring was hoarding at least 80 parrots.
She found more than 50 dead parrots in an unventilated room where rodents, snakes, cockroaches, spiders and other pests covered the floor. She wrapped her face with a T-shirt and tried to clean and rescue some of the remaining animals.
While Ping was just trying to help, jumping into a hoarding situation without proper training or resources can be unwise.
That's why experts are holding a series of free symposiums to raise awareness about hoarding and the proper ways to handle it. The first is Friday at Aston Gardens in Westchase.
The seminar, aimed at people who might come across hoarding cases – such as social workers, guardians and clergy -- is a first-of-its-kind in the area and badly needed because of the growing hoarding problem, said event organizer Dale Smrekar, an estate liquidator.
"This idea really came about because I saw so many church groups going in and cleaning up these hoarding situations, and they really shouldn't do that," he said. "They can be really dangerous."
Hoarding problems are becoming more common. Yet, much is not known about the disorder, and few resources are out there to help.
Clinical psychologist Kristi Weiner said it isn't clear how many cases go unreported.
"Some reports say one in 20 people may be affected by hoarding, while other studies cite one in 50," she said.
Hoarding, the excessive accumulation of items, comes in many forms. Some hoard animals; others hoard garbage, and some hoard information. Weiner said there is a distinct difference between an avid collector and a hoarder...

...Friday's symposium is open to the public, but space is limited. It starts at noon and is at Aston Gardens of Tampa Bay, at 12951 Linebaugh Ave. To register, call (813) 855-2811.
A second seminar will be held Oct. 7 at Westminster Communities in St. Petersburg. To register, call (727) 432-0307.
Interest in the symposiums was so high that Smreaker added a third symposium at Westminster Suncoast on Dec. 9..."  Link

How Does Hoarding Start, Take Hold?

by Kelsey Soby

Shows like "Hoarders" and "Hoarding: Buried Alive" have shown people trapped by their own belongings, surrounded in garbage -- but how does it start and take hold?

As the economy creates uncertainty and encourages saving and thrift, collecting can become an addiction -- possibly even a danger -- for some.

Surrounded by piles of stuff, Mike Schumm said he feels right at home.

"If people didn't save stuff, we wouldn't have a window into our past," he said.

However, his possessions fill his mother's home as well -- and she says there are even antiques hiding in her lilac bushes.

Schumm said it all boils down to his childhood. Living across the street from the a dump, he grew up collecting bottle caps and copper scraps. Those habits helped create the path he's on today, a grown-up collector and seller..."  More

Sunday, September 25, 2011

South Florida woman had 114 cats

A South Florida woman told animal control officials she has been hoarding more than 100 cats at her home.
The woman showed up at Miami-Dade’s Animal Services Department on Wednesday to surrender 20 cats. But as investigators questioned her, the woman admitted she had more and led officials to her two-bedroom town house. Officials said she had 114 cats in varying degrees of health. Some had to be euthanized..."  More

15 'skeletal,' 'emaciated' horses seized

nimal control officers descended on a 5-acre property in a rural area west of Murrieta on Thursday, seizing 15 skinny horses from a woman they say had failed for months to heed their warnings.
"Some of the horses are actually skeletal, extremely emaciated," Sgt. Lesley Huennekens of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services said at the house in unincorporated La Cresta, a neighborhood of spacious homes that is known for horses.
The owner, Janice Deutsch, was not arrested or cited. Prosecutors will decide whether to charge her with animal cruelty, which could be a misdemeanor or felony..."  More

Friday, September 23, 2011

Delores Metcalf

Sept 14, 2011 - Judge delays decision on putting down 153 cats

he municipal animal shelter is overflowing after 152 cats, an American bulldog and a ferret were delivered from a Northland home.
"Everybody that was involved was in shock," said Dennis Moriarty, manager of the kennel. "It's like, 'Oh, my word' because they just kept on coming."
Authorities said they cited Delores "Anne" Metcalf for having too many animals in a home, failure to control odor and for animal cruelty. Her home on North Bales Avenue has been condemned.
More than 50 dead cats were found stuffed inside her freezer and refrigerator but officials said they are still removing dead cats from the home.
Metcalf could not be reached for comment Tuesday. On Monday, Metcalf watched as cat after cat was pulled from her home. She was later led away in handcuffs by police.
Three separate enclosures inside the shelter are housing 40 cats each. A fourth enclosure is needed for the kittens. Many of the kittens will need to be bottle fed.
Most of the cats have cuts, abrasions, fleas and hair loss. All of the cats were covered in feces and urine, officials said. The medical assessments and tests will take several days to complete.
"It's hard to see things like this happen," Moriarty said. "Then try to understand the circumstances of the individual that it happened to."
The cats are skittish, but Moriarty is hopeful they can be adjusted with time to human interaction.

They found 94 cats, four dogs, a rabbit and a ferret in a woman's trailer. An officer, learning one of the dogs was diabetic, opened the refrigerator to check for insulin.

It was filled with dead cats, some in Tupperware containers. 

This week, officers carried more than 100 cats out of a woman's house and found 50 or so dead and frozen in a deep freeze, tagged like hamburger.

Same woman.

Delores Metcalf, 56, seems to be a serial cat hoarder.

"She needed help back then, and she didn't get it, and now she's done it again," a woman familiar with the Liberty case said this week.

Perhaps that's because animal hoarding has only recently been looked upon as a mental disorder. It is relatively new to psychological research, and experts struggle to nail it down.

Some researchers link hoarding to childhood trauma. Others say it's an addiction, such as to drugs. Attachment disorder? Obsessive-compulsive disorder? Safety and security issues? Loneliness?

"We're trying to play catch-up," said Ken Weiss, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.The problem is that hoarders typically don't seek treatment. They think nothing is wrong with themselves. The first contact with outsiders is usually with law enforcement.

"So the process has been a legal one, not one of mental health," Weiss said.

But things are changing. They have to, because researchers now say 2 to 5 percent of the population exhibits some signs of hoarding one thing or another.

Gary Patronek of the Animal Rescue League of Boston said the 2013 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders — essentially the bible of the American Psychiatric Association — is expected for the first time to include hoarding as a disorder...."  More