Animals In Print
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8 Dec 2009 Issue

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The Hoarding Of Animals, Household Contains 390 Suffering Animals

Animal Hoarding

Animal Hoarding

One Household, 390 Suffering Animals

Heavy rain was falling as our Red Star Animal Emergency Services™ team arrived at the home of an alleged animal “hoarder” or “collector” in North Carolina. There they were confronted with neglect and suffering on a scale that shocked even our most seasoned responders.

In one outlying shed, the smell was overpowering as crates filled with cats, mice and other small mammals were stacked floor-to-ceiling. Some crates had as many as five cats in them. No food or water dishes were in the poor animals’ cages, which were covered in feces and urine. The tiny building had only one small window -- barely cracked open to let in some desperately needed fresh air.

Meanwhile, several bony, malnourished dogs were chained outdoors with no shelter. A few neglected, slime-covered water bowls were nearby. The dogs’ skin was bright pink with mange, clearly visible through their thinning hair and in bare patches where they’d already lost their fur to the disease.

On the porch of the house, confined in a cage was a small husky puppy, soaking wet from a gutter overflowing from the pouring rain, and crying miserably.

Inside the house, a box filled with 40 parakeets was just one of many other atrocities discovered.

As the rescuers slogged their way through the mud and muck on the property, they also found sugar gliders, an injured llama, rabbits, horses and pygmy goats. It’s no wonder the operation was dubbed “Noah’s Ark” by the local media.

Altogether, 390 animals were living in pain, hunger and thirst, the helpless victims of an apparent hoarding situation. Hoarding is considered a psychological disorder that compels people to collect pets, often creating situations that get terribly out of hand.

Help the Animal Victims of Hoarding

Working with local law enforcement, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, the North Carolina State Animal Response team, the Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency and others last year, we helped relocate and care for the animals at an emergency shelter for several weeks. They have since recovered and have been adopted into new, loving homes -- homes where the nightmarish conditions they suffered through will become distant memories.

Sadly, however, these pets’ stories are not as unusual as you might think. According to the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium, an estimated 250,000 animals are victimized by hoarders every year in the United States.

Your donation today will help fund our efforts to save pets like those in North Carolina and other hoarding situations -- and many other animal victims of manmade and natural disasters. Please give what you can to ensure that innocent animals receive the assistance and love they deserve!

Our mission is to create a more humane and compassionate world by ending abuse and neglect of children and animals.

American Humane is committed to the responsible stewardship of donated funds and to meeting the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness and cost effectiveness.


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Please send comments and submittals to the Editor: Linda Beane [email protected]

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