Animal hoarders start out with good intentions, but then their intentions quickly turn bad, sometimes causing neighborhood wars. The Guardians of Rescue, GOR, are quite familiar with the often-silent epidemic and its repercussions.
According to the Animal Planet, approximately 250,000 cases of animal hoarding are reported annually; unfortunately, many cases remain unreported, leaving animals to suffer in cramped environments in poor health. GOR is a nationwide animal rescue organization that often wades into the animal hoarding epidemic to save the innocent animals stuck in an unhealthy living situation.
It has been determined that in cases of animal hoarding by adults, that the event tends to be triggered by another event or situation in their life. The usually complicated list includes the loss of or stress in a relationship, economic hardship or a major health issue per Animal Planet. Many times hoarders will begin with inanimate objects and turn to animals at some point; this has been reported in about 40% of notated cases.
The famous animal rescue organization recently discovered a severe situation of animal hoarding in their home base of New York. A caring, elderly woman, who wanted no animal to suffer, took in more cats than she can possibly care for. She struggles to physically care for herself, but her compassion for animals compelled her to help over 50 stray cats living in her neighborhood.
“For over ten years, neighbors called officials, including the Department of Health, Adult Protective Services, the Building Department, the Fire Marshall, the Suffolk County SPCA, and the Town Animal Control,” affirms Robert Misseri, Founder and President of Guardians of Rescue. “The stench of cat urine permeated the street and the fact that this elderly woman was alive and breathing the air in this house is beyond comprehension.”
GOR stepped in and throughout the week, over 40 cats were removed, vetted, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and medicated as seen necessary. Unfortunately, the life-saving hopes of this woman were not enough. Several of the cats had to have their eyes removed because of an untreated infection and, sadly enough, many of the cats were like “indoor feral cats” because they had lived and unsocial life inside this one home. The endeavor to date has cost $4,000, all funded by the Guardians of Rescue.
Cats are hoarded in silence, and oftentimes only the strong smell of urine is the only sign that a possible hoarding situation is going on. But dogs are hoarded as well. Guardians of Rescue recently received a call about 100 Chihuahuas living in a home in rural Louisiana, leaving many of the dogs unsocial and difficult to place in loving homes.
“Oftentimes we are dealing with neighbors who take matters into their own hands and
in many cases they will poison the cats, shoot them with BB guns, or inflict harm on them anyway they can, as they see these cats as nuisances,” affirms Misseri. “We receive calls daily from people who want to help by means of an intervention, but the funds are not available to rectify every problem. These types of hoarding situations can overwhelm our rescues, and that is why we need to network and raise emergency funds to save as many of these animals as possible.”
To learn more, or to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue, log onto www.guardiansofrescue.org.