Thursday, December 15, 2011
Hoarding Hurts Everyone..
Did you know that 250,000 animals per year are victims of hoarders? (Source: Animal Legal Defense Fund)
According to the Humane Society, animals kept in hoarding conditions often suffer extreme neglect, including lack of food, proper veterinary care and sanitary conditions. Officers investigating hoarding situations often find floors, furniture and counters covered with animal feces and urine. In extreme cases, decaying animal carcasses are found among the living animals. Insect and rodent infestations are also common.
Filthy conditions under which animal hoarders live also attract disease vectors such as insects and rodents. This can also threaten neighboring households. Often a house that is home to a hoarding situation must be condemned by the health department due to unlivable conditions.
The animal cruelty laws of all states have provisions stipulating minimal care standards (e.g., food, shelter, veterinary care, and sanitary conditions) for animals. Legislation has been enacted in a few states specifically addressing animal hoarding.
In situations where the animal hoarder is unwilling to accept help and the animals' conditions do not warrant animal cruelty charges, non-animal agencies often step in to force change. For example, fire departments can cite hoarders for fire code violations, health departments can intervene where there are disease issues and housing code violations, and county zoning boards can step in to force change if there are local ordinances regarding the number of animals a person may keep. The charges may be necessary to help the hoarder understand the gravity of their situation.
For more information, please check out the Humane Society!
Hoarding hurts everyone.