Wednesday, November 30, 2011

BOOK: The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life

Written by:  Dr. Robin Zasio

From Amazon:  We all have treasured possessions—a favorite pair of shoes, a much-beloved chair, an ever-expanding record collection. But sometimes, this emotional attachment to our belongings can spiral out of control and culminate into a condition called compulsive hoarding. From hobbyists and collectors to pack rats and compulsive shoppers—it is close to impossible for hoarders to relinquish their precious objects, even if it means that stuff takes over their lives and their homes.

According to psychologist Dr. Robin Zasio, our fascination with hoarding stems from the fact that most of us fall somewhere on the hoarding continuum. Even though it may not regularly interfere with our everyday lives, to some degree or another, many of us hoard.

The Hoarder In You provides practical advice for decluttering and organizing, including how to tame the emotional pull of acquiring additional things, make order out of chaos by getting a handle on clutter, and create an organizational system that reduces stress and anxiety. Dr. Zasio also shares some of the most serious cases of hoarding that she’s encountered, and explains how we can learn from these extreme examples—no matter where we are on the hoarding continuum.

Order via Amazon:  here

NY Times Review: It’s Time to Say Goodbye to All That Stuff

By Jane E. Brody

"...I would say that Dr. Zasio’s book is about the best self-help work I’ve read in my 46 years as a health and science writer. She seems to know all the excuses and impediments to coping effectively with a cluttering problem, and she offers practical, clinically proven antidotes to them.

Unless you are an extreme hoarder (the kind portrayed on the show) who requires a year or more of professional therapy, the explanations and steps described in the book can help any garden-variety clutterer better understand the source of the problem and its negative consequences, as well as overcome it and keep it from recurring..." More

Crookston Cat Hoarding

Crookston (North Dakota) authorities are dealing with an extreme case of cat hoarding.
 So far, 72 cats have been removed from a Crookston home and there are still more cats in the home.
 Police Chief, Tim Motherway says the case is under investigation, so the woman's name and address are not being released..."  More

AKC Judge Accused of Hoarding - Burien / Issaquah, WA

Nov 30, 2011:  Owner of 100 seized dogs is dog show judge

By Denise Whitaker

SEATTLE -- A woman accused of hoarding dozens of dogs in deplorable conditions is a dog show judge.

Last month, King County deputies seized 100 dogs from homes in Burien and Issaquah after an anonymous tipster sent video documenting the animals' living conditions to Pasado's Safe Haven, an animal rescue group.

The footage, which was obtained by KOMO News on Wednesday, showed rusted cages matted with pet hair, dogs crammed in feces-infested cages, and empty food and water bowls.

Pasado turned the video over to the King County Sheriff's Office, which launched an investigation. Local rescue groups and veterinarians stepped in to care for the Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Japanese Chin dogs taken from the homes.

Then on Wednesday came the shocking revelation: "One of the owners of the dogs that were in such deplorable condition is actually a judge for the American Kennel Club," said Amber Chenoweth of Pasado's Safe Haven. 

KOMO News has learned one of the judge's dogs won a coveted award in February at the Westminster Kennel Club Show. The woman said her attorney advised her against commenting on the ongoing investigation.

Pasado's is asking prosecutors to file 14 counts of animal cruelty against the woman for the 14 dogs that had to be euthanized due to illness..."  More & video

Oct 11, 2011:  Police seize 62 dogs from home in ‘animal hoarding’ case

King County animal control officers seized 62 dogs from a Cougar Mountain home in Issaquah — and 38 more from a Burien home — Oct. 6 in a case investigators described as “animal hoarding.”

In a raid on the Burien house, King County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Regional Animal Services of King County officers discovered 38 ill Chihuahua, Japanese Chin and Pomeranian dogs in dirty crates. Then, investigators searched a house in the 5900 block of 189th Avenue Southeast on Cougar Mountain, about a mile south of Cougar Mountain Zoo.
Veterinarians later euthanized nine dogs from the Burien house due to poor health. The day after the raids, veterinarians euthanized another dog due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Investigators said the animals from the Issaquah house appeared to be in good health and housed in clean crates, although the condition of the house prompted animal control officers to take the dogs into custody.
“This is a very sad situation,” Glynis Frederiksen, Regional Animal Services of King County interim manager, said in a statement. “Most of the dogs had fur matted with dirt and other debris, some had eye problems and several were in need of dental care. Our officers and volunteers have done an excellent job in taking care of these dogs under extraordinary circumstances.”..."  More

Oct 7, 2011:  Sheriff:  Animal hoarding probe turns up 100 dogs in crates

Officers investigating a tip about animal hoarding Thursday found 100 dogs packed into crates at two homes - some of them in such pathetic condition that they had to be euthanized.

King County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said an investigation into the animal hoarding began after detectives received a tip from Pasado's Safe Haven, an animal rescue group.

Thirty-eight of the dogs were found at a residence in Burien, and another 62 were discovered shortly afterward at a home in Issaquah.

Officers served a search warrant at about 6:15 p.m. Thursday at a home in the 1300 block of SW 120th St. in Burien, where they found 38 Chihuahua, Pomeranian and Chin dogs.

Urquhart said all of the dogs were in poor health and kept in extremely filthy dog crates. Fourteen were immediately taken to a veterinarian’s office and nine were euthanized..."  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Animals Seized From House in Corning

By:  Joe Melillo

Neglected animals need a home tonight after Sheriffs Deputies rescued them from a garbage and feces-filled home over the weekend. A local business is asking for help finding the pets new homes. The owners of Jungle Critters on Market Street are doing everything they can to help more than a dozen animals find new homes. Linda Holmes and Brenda Gleason were on scene this weekend when police found six people and more than 20 animals living in squalor in a two bedroom house in corning. They say its one of the worst examples of animal hoarding they had ever seen. All the dogs and cats have been spayed and neutered and given a clean place to stay while they wait for a new home.

Linda Holmes is the co-owner of Jungle Critters and a dog control officer for the past 14 years. shes never seen anything like what she saw this weekend.

“19 dogs a dead puppy there were feces and urine all over the floor I just cant understand that people can survive in that type of condition.”

Home owner, 82 year old Catherine Pacitti, called police asking for help removing her older brother and four other people living in the home. When police arrived they found 19 dogs, two puppies five cats, and one dead puppy living with five adults and an infant in this two bedroom house in Corning. The dead puppy was in the baby's playpen...."  More & video

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pet hoarding a growing problem


TORONTO - Mattie purrs and shuts her eyes for a nap as she feels human fingers nuzzle the top of her head.
The roughly 10-year-old brown and grey tabby is surprisingly calm around people after she was found in an abandoned shed in the Hwy. 401-Islington area along with a 15 other cats in May. She was pregnant at the time and the Etobicoke Humane Society staff brought her and her kittens into the shelter.
“She had seven molars extractions,” said Kathy Phillips, the foster co-ordinator of the EHS, as she held Mattie in her arms. “They were bad infections which affected her temperament and her ability to eat. She had surgery last week. She’s also had upper respiratory problems.”
Cat hoarding is a growing problem not only in the GTA, but throughout Canada.
Animal hoarding involves keeping higher than usual numbers of animals as domestic pets without being able to properly take care of them. Often, the person involved or “the hoarder” will deny their inability to take care of these cats..."  More

Thief River Falls case prompts animal hoarding discussion

CROOKSTON, Minn. - “I don’t think anybody intentionally wants to be a hoarder. I think they think they’re providing a home,” said Tracey Janisch, manager of the Humane Society of Polk County shelter in Crookston.

She helped remove more than 60 cats from a house recently, she said. “And there’s still more.”
It’s the biggest example of animal hoarding she’s seen since she joined the shelter in 2008.

“Animal hoarding is different because there’s an emotional attachment,” said psychologist Denise Gudvangen. “Animals meet an emotional need that hoarders did not get with human relationships.”..."  More

Thursday, November 24, 2011

114 Rabbits Seized From Aptos Breeding Facility

By Susanne Brunner

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - It's been a busy Tuesday for Rabbit Haven volunteers and workers at Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter.  On top of the dozens of animals the shelter already cares for, it brought in some of the 114 rabbits seized from an Aptos breeding facility off Freedom Boulevard on Sunday.
"[The rabbits were] Living in feces and urine, some of the cages were outside with no shelter, so  when it had rained they had filled up with water so the bunnies were wet and cold. No food or water, horrible conditions," said Melanie Sobel with Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter.
The shelter said 2 officers discovered the "horrible conditions" during a routine check.  They cited the owner, and it turns out this isn't the first time he's had animals taken away from his home.  Shelter officials said last year, 40 rabbits were seized for the same conditions. 
Over the last 2 days, shelter staff and volunteers have been cleaning up the rabbits, making sure they get the quality care they need.  Some of the rabbits are pregnant and others need vet care.  It's a task that hasn't been easy, especially during tough times..."  More

60 animals seized from elderly Abbotsford pet hoarder


Abbotsford SPCA and police officers seized 57 cats, three dogs and two birds from an elderly woman's home on Baldwin Road last week.

Marcie Moriarty, SPCA manager of cruelty investigations, said pet hoarding is not uncommon, and the home and animals were in poor condition.

"We see [hoarding] all the time. It's not an intention to be cruel to the animals, but the fact remains, great harm can be done."

The house was full of cat feces, urine and pet food, deemed uninhabitable and later condemned, she said. The cats were suffering from mites and scabby ears and some had severe dental disease. The situation, as in many cases, is very sad, said Moriarty.

The 65-year-old woman voluntarily surrendered her animals because she knew it was the best thing to do, but she was traumatized..."  More

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Joe Wilson, Circus World Pets - Oregon

Nov 23, 2011:  Pets rescued from Newport store up for adoption

The Oregon Humane Society is hoping to findhomes for more than 50 pets seized from a Newport pet store suspected of animal neglect.
The OHS will offer the animals for adoption on Friday.
Humane society workers say, in all, they seized 264 animals and about 800 fish during the September bust at Circus World Pets on Southwest Coast Highway. The OHS says this was after an investigation that included several visits to the pet store. In October, OHS cited the owner for animal neglect.
In November, ownership of the pets was turned over to OHS. The animals include 11 puppies, 31 birds, three chinchillas, 70 rats, four gerbils, and 114 mice.
Investigators say they tried to help the owner with extensive care, housing and feeding of the pets, but OHS eventually asked for and received a court order to seize them..."  More

October, 2011:  700 animals seized from Newport pet store


A Newport man faces 30 animal neglect charges after nearly 700 animals were seized from his pet store last month, the Oregon Humane Society reported Friday.
Investigators charged Joe Wilson, the owner of Circus World Pets in Newport, with four counts of first-degree animal neglect and 26 counts of second-degree animal neglect, according to Barbara Baugnon with OHS.
OHS had been investigating the store since April, when the agency received several complaints about conditions inside the store.
Investigators in September served a search warrant and seized nearly 700 animals, including 500 fish.
OHS is commissioned by the Oregon governor to investigate animal cruelty crimes in the state.
Link & video

Sept 25, 2011:  Newport pet rescue largest ever for Oregon Humane Society

In the largest animal seizure of its kind for the Oregon Humane Society, 169 animals were rescued from a Newport pet store Wednesday, authorities said.

The rescue included 30 birds, 11 puppies and dozens of reptiles.

OHS officials said this was the culmination of a six month investigation into concerns of animal neglect at Circus World Pet Store in Newport.

Investigators said have been trying to work with the business since April, but eventually decided to move in and take the animals, in order to protect them..."  More

Monday, November 21, 2011

First step toward hoarding: feeding many strays

By  Mary Beth Lane

Elayne Pacheco was working at her kitchen sink one day when the water abruptly shut off.
She called a repairman, who determined that the weight of cats sitting on the water handle beneath her mobile home had turned off the supply. Pacheco laughed as she told the story.
That is the only time the cats have done harm, she said.
Pacheco had been feeding as many as 20 stray cats who congregate underneath and near her mobile home in Community Gardens, near Grove City. She recently found homes for half of them, she said.
Feeding too many strays is commonly the first sign that animal hoarding might become a problem, experts say..."  More

Wayside Waifs rescues dogs in hoarding case

KCMO animal shelter Wayside Waifs announced on Monday that the shelter is caring for more than two dozen dogs rescued from an animal hoarder in Savannah, Mo.
The shelter's animal rescue team responded at the request of the Andrew County Sheriff's Department. Most of the animals were living outside in dirty sheds and outbuildings. They had little access to food and clean water. Their interaction with people was also limited. Many of these dogs showed signs of illness, including symptoms of mange.
The Wayside team had to make two trips to the property because of the number of animals involved. Last week, the team removed 18 dogs from the property. Monday, the seven remaining dogs were rescued.
Wayside Waifs says the dogs will be available for adoption after evaluations and medical treatment..."  More

Animal Hoarding = Major Problem

by Jennifer Nicole Cox

Many people aren’t quite sure if they’ll be able to tell if someone is an animal hoarder or not.  Well, luckily there are many signs that may suggest someone is an animal hoarder.  I’ve listed a few of the most familiar signs below.
  • The animal owner’s home reeks of ammonia, their floors are covered in dried feces and urine, and there are fleas present.
  • The animal owner has so many animals in their possession that they’ve lost count.
  • The animal owner is isolated from their community.
Animal hoarding is a form of animal cruelty and the consequences can have long-term effects.  Even if animals are rescued from a hoarding situation, they’ll still continue to have health problems.  Animal shelters receive most of the animals that are taken from these situations, but they may be unable to provide immediate treatment to many of them.  Also, many of the animals at the shelter may be un-adoptable due to health or behavioral problems, leaving euthanasia as the only option.  And guess who’ll be responsible for the cost of rescuing, treating, feeding and euthanizing these poor animals?  You, the taxpayer, will!  Yep!  The tax payers will be paying for this mess!  However, these poor dogs will be paying the ultimate price..."  More

When home is a health hazard, county steps in

Rebecca Clark

It only took one day to condemn the yellow house on McBrayer Street Extension.
After a neighbor complained about a horrible odor coming from the house and a tip came in about dozens of animals living inside with the owners, Cleveland County Animal Control was called to investigate in late August.
When animal control officers walked through the doors, they found around 60 cats and dogs inside with about a dozen more living in sheds at the back of the property. 
‘Imminent health hazard’
The Cleveland County Health Department director was called, and after a quick inspection, the house was labeled an “imminent hazard.”
Health Department Director Dorothea Wyant described an imminent hazard as something that could affect the health of the person living at the home or the health of surrounding neighbors.
“It didn’t take me five seconds to look through this house to see that this is an imminent health hazard,” Wyant said.
She said she filed an abatement order commanding the owners, Carolyn and Guy Owens, to leave, and the building was prepared for demolition..."  More

Animal hoarders put pets and shelves at risk

By Mary Beth Lane

Ronald and Karen Miller always kept house cats as pets. First eight, then one more. Then another.
Eventually, the brother and sister had accumulated 21 cats, plusa dog.
The stench of animal waste overtook the Washington Court House rental the Millers shared, and neighbors complained they could smell it from the sidewalk.
The Millers had become animal hoarders.
They now are charged in Fayette County with animal cruelty, as there is no separate hoarding offense under Ohio law.
No one tracks the number of animal-cruelty cases, including hoarding, that are filed each year in Ohio or nationally because each local humane society operates independently. There is no centralized record-keeping.
But based on the reports that they are aware of, the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimate that up to 2,000 new cases involving about 250,000 hoarded animals occur every year across the country..."  More

Animal Shelter Frustrated Over Prosecution of Animal Cruelty

By Jenna Browder

Within the last year the Cheyenne Animal Shelter has dealt with four different cases of animal hoarding involving more than 200 animals.
In July the shelter took in 26 dogs whose owner, Ray Patton, was accused of cruelty to animals. "We go out and we see the situation and we have to bring [the animals] in and then we're stuck with them for who knows how long" said Rick Collord, the Director of the Cheyenne Animal Shelter. 
In Patton's case, the shelter cared for his dogs for nearly four months, costing an estimated $47,000. 
The case settled with a plea agreement in October. Patton was convicted and given six months probation.  He then paid the shelter $1,440 for nine of the dogs.  "The shelter is out all that cost and then the animals go back to their owners" said Collord.
To Collord the punishment is a slap on the wrist.  "There's no restitution for the shelter... I can only speculate that the courts are backed up" he said..."  More

Animal Hoarders

By: Paul Harrop
Right now, animal care professionals across Texoma are bracing for the next animal hoarding call. Humane Society leaders say the situations place a burden on their ability to help pets in need. Just one year ago a woman went to court in Young County after officials found dozens of animals living in these conditions. There was filth all over, and several animals had to be put down. 
Hoarding situations are hard and draining. "We've had several situations in the last year and half and it is a huge drain on our budget, thousands and thousands of dollars," said Kim Baxter, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Young County. 
Baxter says the hoarders start out with a good heart and an open door. "People that are hoarding animals truly believe they are doing the best thing for the animals. They think that no one else can take care of the animals like they are," she said. 
Rarely is that the case. "Generally they are living in filthy, horrible conditions; feces and urine caked everywhere on the animals. It's just horrible. A lot of them are malnourished, a lot of times you will find deceased animals in the house that are just left wherever they passed away," said Baxter. .."  More & video

More Than 50 Cats Recovered From Elderly Woman's Thief River Falls, MN, Home

By: David Schwab

THIEF RIVER FALLS, MN - There's a disturbing case of animal hoarding in Thief River Falls.
Police have spent the last week trapping more than 50 cats kept by an elderly woman.

It all started as a welfare check on a women who lived at 408 Arnold St. in Thief River Falls. Officers who went to the house say conditions were the worst they have seen with cat feces strewn throughout at the home.

Over the last week, they trapped 51 cats in the house. They were brought to the Pennington County Humane Society where they are already at their limit.

Humane Society officials say the cats removed from the home are in good conditions. Those who help removed the cats had to wear respirators because of the air quality in the home..."  More & video

Hoarding: 'The inability to let go of items that others consider trash'

By Lauren Lee

EUGENE, Ore. -- Hoarding is a mental illness that is marked by a need to acquire things and the inability to let go of items that others consider trash. Mental health professionals believe it effects 1.5 million Americans.

It is an illness that mental health professionals are still trying to understand. Recently, the issue has been shining in the spotlight with television shows including A&E’s "Hoarders" and TLC’s "Hoarders: Buried Alive."
The television shows have come to the Eugene-Springfield area twice in the past year alone.
Jan Lehman, professional organizer of Can The Clutter based in Eugene, was featured on a recent episode of Hoarders to help a local man.  She works with clients on all levels from those with office clutter to others with extreme disorganization..."  More

Animal services investigating possible hoarding case

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Lee County Domestic Animal Services is investigating a possible hoarding case in San Carlos Park.
Friday, Lee County deputies were called to 17276 Malaga Road after several complaints about the outside appearance of the home. Animal Control and the local fire department responded as well.
There were reports of an unkempt lawn and the homeowner had not been seen in two weeks. When deputies entered the home, they weren't prepared for what they found.
"The smell was so overpowering that they had to put on gas masks to go in there and do their jobs," says Tony Schall, spokesperson for the Lee County Sheriff's Office. "There was human feces. There was animal feces."..."  More

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Animal Control Officers Seize Over 100 Dogs


PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Animal control officers have removed more than 100 dogs from the home of a former county official in eastern Kentucky. The animals were seized Friday from the home of former Pike County deputy judge-executive Randal Good and taken to the Pike County Animal Shelter, where they are being cleaned and treated for malnutrition. The current Pike County Deputy Judge-Executive, John Doug Hays, oversees the animal shelter and called the condition of the dogs "heartbreaking." The Appalachian News-Express reported that it the second time more than 100 animals have been removed from Good's property. The first time was in 2004. Good told WYMT-TV that he tried to care for the animals, but got overwhelmed. He said most of the dogs were given to him by people who didn't want them anymore.

Animals seized, children taken from Harrison Co. home

by Adrianna Hopkins

HARRISON COUNTY, Ind. – Two children are taken from their mother after authorities find sick animals on her property in southern Indiana. Officials say she is an animal hoarder who was posing as a person who runs an animal rescue shelter.

Animal Control Officer Bruce LaHue found dozens of cats at a home in Harrison County with eye infections, open sores and other medical issues. He says the owner of the house was posing as the director of an animal rescue shelter.

Jerri Warren was looking for a safe place for seven stray cats she had taken care of for six months when she came across this woman. Jerri had placed an advertisement on MySpace and the woman contacted her.

"I'm thinking she's legit, she looks legit and sounds legit,” said Warren.

Warren met the woman and gave her the cats. Later that night she called to check on the cats, but did not get an answer. After not getting an answer the next morning either, she decided to track the woman down and go to her house.

"I was really upset. When I saw the house I started to cry. I ran and called police. I was really upset,” said Warren.

Officials showed up and said the smell of urine and feces was overwhelming. At the end of the day, they took 36 cats, four chickens and three dogs from the house. Child Protective Services also took custody of the woman's two children..."  More & video

Friday, November 18, 2011

35 cats euthanized in animal hoarding case

Yvonne P Mazzulo

Humane Society officers seized 37 cats from a Chambersburg home Wednesday, November 16. The cats were taken from a trailer home located just off of Edward Avenue as part of an animal hoarding investigation.
According to Humane Society officers, the cats were living in squalid conditions as the home was filled with urine and feces.
After the protective seizure, officers remained hopeful the cats would receive veterinary care and that new homes would be found for them. Unfortunately, it was too late. According to officials at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter, 35 of the cats had to be euthanized because they were so ill..."  More