Bizarre 'Pet Hoarding' Surges
Many hoarders start as rescuers, experts say
By Emily Rauhala, Newser User
Posted Sep 3, 2010 5:04 AM CDT
Updated Sep 3, 2010 5:41 AM CDT
Riverside County Animal Services officers and employees with some of the seized dogs from the Best Buddies Rescue in Aguanga, California.   (AP Photo/Riverside County Animal Services)

(Newser) – You've heard of hoarding, but did you know it applies to pets, too? Experts say a growing number of Americans are hoarding large numbers of animals that become more and more difficult to take care of as they overwhelm their owners. Tragically, 25% of pet hoarders started out as rescuers running legal and nonprofit clinics, finds AP. Animal care can fast become animal cruelty, experts say, when people take in too many and can't provide the basics.

"The root of it is really nothing to do with animals. It's to do with people's heads and how they work," explained one animal cruelty expert. Dementia, addiction, attachment disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder often play a role. In one case, a Pennsylvania woman known as the "cat saint" took in 7,000 cats in 14 months, turning her home into a "death camp for cats." (Click here to read more about compulsive hoarding.)

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Sep 7, 2010 7:27 AM CDT
laws need to enacted and enforced with the proper funding available for both in order to stop this horrible cruelty. americans are years behind the civilized world in their care for their animals wich is deplorable! remember a civilation is judged by the way it treats it animals! we are appallingly lacking! but once again the majority or our politicains are morons on this issue just like all other issues!
Sep 6, 2010 10:57 PM CDT
Hoarding is a real ilness and to include animals is obviously not healty for both the person and the animals. Sadly those good people who suffer from it are keeping everything but rational thinking indoors. Their possesions represent a sense of security! The outsider may see total caos. But to them it's the one thing they place control over in there lives. To take charge of a cleanup effort takes that power and control away. I expect the strong emotional attachment to thier pets might explain how animals could very well be hoarded as well. The situation reqiuires patience. The hoarder will defend themselves by giving a detailed explanation why each of the possesions should be saved! Very difficult to watch as a family member!
Sep 6, 2010 1:07 PM CDT
I know for a fact that the county pictured , Riverside, is nothing but a money mill for the animals they take in. I have dealt with these people after a trespassers complaint of my animals trespassing and bothering someone illegally staying on the property i rented and couldnt get the county nor sheriff to get them out, so my problems started when I was issued a 30 day warning to reduce the pets by 4, which was an unplanned expansion of my own pets when i found some idiot put tiny kittens into a box no food nor water on a day that was 107 degrees, I took them home bottle fed them and loved them like my other pets.. I understand why there are laws, in my case myself and room mate had 9 cats already, the max, so the 3 kittens and the kitty abandoned and locked into an empty eviction house and half starved i took in , were now in violation. In the non rural areas of the city I am in its the same 9, however I am on 1/2 acres with the Cleveland National Forest and 2 water towers as my only neighbors, So my pets hurt no one, ALL fixed and in great health. This Joe supercop, gave time limits on my reducing the number, or he would return and remove all the pets not just the number over 9 and kill them all. After doing some research, the fees associated with his removing any animals, the vet bills, medicine biolls, for euthanizing the animals, boarding fees, transport fees, and finally disposal fees, would have indeedn been way into the thousands if all animals were taken. This man gives a 30 day warning but shoiws up on the 22nd day, then gives a 5 day violation to reduce number of animals or get a license, i asked for his help to obbtain a license ,so i could just be legal about it, he told me after turning off mic, that he was the one who approves them and he would NEVER approve one for me. SO I was forced to reduce the number of pets, he returned on day 4 not 5th day as the violation noted i had to complete the remedy by, whiuch had already been planned for that 5 th day and gave me a cittation with a mandatory license order, and a court date, a mandatory license he said i can t ever get, this is abuse.period. I then offered him the name address and phone of the relative who took in the 5 cats I relocated, you wpould think this was enough, he never bothered to check , instead pounded on my door 3 more times over 12 weeks demanding i allow him to search the property without a warrant. I did not answer the door, aanswered the complaint in writing with stated fact that i had cure the problem by reduction, which also was written in the Muni code as a way to deal with citations and avoid court. Even though i did everything I could to comply i still had court. I prevailed there in court, but the nasty llittle games like shoing up a day early and threats to remove all pets this was abuse. They wanted that money mill of fines and fees, and the reason was because we work and have an income. It was about money and that is all. Joe super cop with his mic on and mic off games and his ridiculous harrassment is completely allowed. There was no problem . he created one. Oh the complaint that brought him to my house was from a trespasser who was illegally staying in a shack pon property at permission of the slumlord who wanted to evict us because the rotted falling down roof we wanted repaired and the damage to my belongoings paid for. These trespassers had been ordered by code enforcement to vacate yet didnt , the owner was ordered to make repairs and never did, and finally the outcome of the abuse and grfave danger the trespassers caused with their gas line tampoering and running of water to run up bills, that we had to pay, even though the rent was paid and not behind and utilities included, all utilities were shut off during the first 2 weeks of the 30 day notice given instead of repairs. Not one authority to date has done a thing to slumlord nor taken a police complaint for other unlawful acts against us. The slumlord hides assets and claims he is unemployed so the county only acted against people who are responsible and have a job. SO I wouldnt take anything that this article says as true ifd it involves that county's animals control. Happily we moved, but this complete injustice was topped when the falsified proof of service on a Unlawful Detainer case was filed before the 30 day notice was even expired, it was 8 days too soon and though I was never served the slumlord got a default judgement . I cannot belive the case was even allowed to be filed with an absent notice to vacate , either 30 day or 60 as in this case should have been. Instead thses criminals are allowed to cheat and lie, and people who try to do the right thing are harrassed. Way to Go Riverside