Be the Change for Animals- Blog the Change

Every time I hear the news of a case of animal hoarding, I cringe. Watching video of authorities and rescue groups carry out cage after cage of malnourished and filthy cats and dogs, and sometimes rabbits, snakes or other animals, I feel sick that these innocent pets have been neglected. Sometimes the animals are in such bad condition that they can’t be saved.

I believe that the hoarder may start out as well-intentioned, but quickly becomes
overwhelmed, and loses sight of the best
interest of the pets, to the point that they don’t even accept that there’s a problem.

How you Can help Animal Hoarding

What is Hoarding?
 Animal Hoarding happens when someone keeps an unusually large number of animals without the ability to properly care for them. The hoarder usually doesn’t admit that the conditions are poor and the animals are neglected.

How Can You Tell an Animal Hoarder from an Animal Rescuer
 1. Unsanitary Environment–there may be a smell of urine, or feces may not be cleaned up. There may be insects flying around.
2. Pets aren’t getting adequate food, water, and medical attention
3. Pets appear sick, malnourished, with parasites, fleas, or wounds
4. Hoarder refuses to acknowledge overcrowded and unhealthy conditions

If You Suspect a Case of Hoarding, How Can You Be the Change for these Animals?
According to the ASPCA :

  1. Report the Situation – Call your local humane law enforcement department, police department,
    animal shelter, animal welfare group or veterinarian if you suspect a case of hoarding. You may not want to get the person “in trouble,” but a phone
    call may be the first step to get them and the animals the help they

  2. Consider both the animals and the individual-  While the animals’ safety and well being is at risk, the hoarder needs help as well. Your local department of the aging, adult protective services,
    health departments and other mental health agencies may be able to get the animal
    hoarder connected to the right services.
  3. Volunteer to help the homeless animals-
    With the removal of so many animals from a hoarding situation, the
    burden on local shelters can be staggering. Volunteer your time to help
    clean cages, socialize animals, walk dogs and perform other such
    necessary duties.
  4. Support local legislation.
    Laws that recognize hoarding as unlawful with appropriate punishment
    and mandatory treatment are necessary. Even though hoarding cases
    exhibit typical characteristics of animal abuse, they are rarely
    prosecuted because they fail to show the individual’s intent to harm.
  5. Educate others –Help people recognize the signs of hoarding and how they can help.

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