Archive for April, 2010

Animal Hoarding-Sparta,TN

April 28, 2010
In the last week, this has been the second case I have read in regards to animal hoarding. Notice they mention no charges have been filed yet. In the first case I read about the couple in the Knoxville area was charged with animal cruelty. Unless the couple is sent to have treatment there is a 100% recidivism rate, meaning they’ll do it again. They may have jail time and fees to pay but that will not stop them from moving somewhere else and repeating the pattern again. Below is the case of the animal hoarding in Sparta, TN
More than 100 dogs surrendered in White
by Laura Gwinn
2 days 2 hrs ago | 908 views | 2 2 recommendationsemail to a friendprint
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SPARTA — A Sparta woman who reportedly said she was overwhelmed by the number of dogs she had relinquished them to the White County Sheriff’s Department.White County Sheriff Oddie Shoupe reported that members of the White County Humane Society tipped deputies off to a possible puppy mill operation on Corolla Road at the residence of Gayla Jackson, owner of Gayla’s Poodle Palace, last Tuesday. According to the report made by the responding deputy, he “saw several dismantled animal crates in the yard and several dogs running loose on the property.”

The deputy made contact with the owners and advised them that the sheriff’s department was there to perform a welfare check on the animals.”The deputy found approximately 80 animals on the site at that time,” Detective Chris Isom with the White County Sheriff’s Department said. “He performed a walk-through of the property, including the outbuilding, where he observed dogs of different breeds throughout the property.” Dogs were reported loose around the house and some inside cages, but did appear to have adequate food and water. There was, however, feces on the floor and throughout the residence. Other deputies and Shoupe were told of the situation and reported to the site, along with members of the Humane Society who found housing for the animals. No information on whether or not charges would be filed were not available as of press time.

A Little About Animal Hoarding

April 15, 2010

A serious and poorly understood form of hoarding is Animal Hoarding (Patronek & Nathanson, 2009). Approximately 1,500 new cases of animal hoarding occur each year.  An animal  hoarder has a need to have large amounts of animals that may include

collecting dogs, cats, goats, horses, snakes or others in excess. This leads to deteriorating conditions in which water and food become scarce. Typically there is the stench of urine and piles of feces along with carcasses of dead animals. Animal Hoarders view what they are doing as an act of love and see nothing wrong with what they are doing. Most are in denial they are doing anything wrong and cannot see that what they are doing is quite destructive and most of all, a health hazard. Most places in the US

will allow for 2-5 animals without a permit. Hoarders will collect 15, 25, 50

maybe even 100 animals. This doesn’t mean all are alive though. Law

enforcement officials and Psychiatrists do not understand much about Animal

Hoarding. Sadly there are many cases in which hoarders are punished as criminals

rather than being treated for a mental illness.  Recently I was watching an episode

of TLC’s new series, Hoarding: Buried Alive. An elderly lady and her husband

hoarded cats. It was their way of not feeling lonely and they felt useful. It was the

husband who fed the cats daily but it was the wife who was being charged with

animal cruelty and neglect. Both estimated they had around 20-30 cats and kittens.

When animal control arrived to collect up the cats and kittens they collected nearly

50 live and dead. Later when the interventionists came in to help clean and

support the husband and wife, nearly 60 carcasses were discovered.  One thing you

will find in majority of hoarders homes is garbage. The garbage may be stacked

high in the kitchen and bathroom, several feet high. Garbage that has been in the

home for long periods of time may have caused serious damage to the structure of

the home, thus making it a hazardous situation (Williams, 2000). This can cause the home to be condemned. If you ask a hoarder why they

collect things many will answer because it is comforting to

them. They feel useful when they have things that bring them comfort or knowing

that one day down the road someone will need that certain item. Throwing items

away that belongs to a hoarder can be very traumatic. Even the thought of throwing

an item away that has no use left is difficult for a hoarder to discard. Every item a

hoarder has is meaningful to them in one way or another. Sometimes there are items

in a hoarders life that have significant meaning that may be taboo

for anyone else to touch. The item can be from childhood during a critical time: a now tattered teddy bear, poster, trophy, etc.

What is Hoarding?

April 15, 2010

Hoarding or disposophobia is a mental disorder in which one will obsessively collect items and will not discard anything. These items can be books, clothing, antiques, collectables, animals and in drastic cases, food. Their apartments, homes and land become cluttered and unsanitary with items they have collected over a long period of time (Neziroglu & Bubrick, 2010). Mobility is greatly impaired by the excessive clutter leading to serious hazards. Bugs and rodents may infest the home, the structure of the home may become compromised and the utilities may be disconnected. They can be any age from a child to elderly. It can be genetic or caused by a traumatic situation.  Hoarding affects not only the hoarder themselves but also family and friends. It is also a very costly condition due to the fact that hoarders continuously purchase items unnecessarily.