Animal Hoarding 2
Jessica Hirsch GSW 1100 Dr. Burroughs March 29, 2011 Animal Hoarding How would you feel if you saw an animal that is boney and sick? For people that love animals it is hard to picture an animal that is sick, covered in fleas or ticks, cuts, and is just boney. Animal hoarding is an unrecognized problem in many communities. By the time people notice it usually too late to help the animals that are involved in the hoarding. Hoarding is considered a type of animal abuse and can be punishable by law if found guilty in court.
There are over a hundred cases each year that deal with just animal hoarding that is reported to the authorities. Many shelters and veterinary offices help those poor animals that are brought in by cops and organizations that are established to rescue animals in trouble or danger. There are solutions in solving this problem that is spreading across the United States that can be solved locally or solved by the state. These solutions are the most reasonable.
They are to limit the number animals in a household, to check up on previous hoarders more recently, and to inform people of the ways they can help and the effects that can happen due to this problem. Animal hoarding by definition is an individual person who accumulates a large number of animals and does not provide adequate care for them such as veterinary care, clean living space, and proper food source. There are some hoarders that when found by the police hand over most or all the animals over to the state because they realize that it is the right thing to do for the animals.
There are groups out there such as the Humane Society and the ASPCA that are out there helping animals that are victims of animal cruelty. Both groups have websites and commercials to show people what is going in the “animal world” so to say. The Humane Society website has many articles about cases that were successful in helping animals. One article called “Rescued from Squalor” discusses a case that took place in Preston, Missouri. A lady lived in a house that was filled with trash and feces to the point there was no floor.
The backyard was nothing but mud and feces that was the home to many dogs in kennels while the rest lived inside the house. The smell from inside the house was so strong that it made the rescuers eyes water even though they special masks on to help breathe inside house. By the end of the seize and the trial the lady went to the sheriff and asked him to write a letter stating she was not charged with cruelty charges and it was okay for her to receive animals again.
The sheriff refused her request and told the local shelters, stores, and anywhere else that was selling animals that the lady was trying to collect animals again (Allan). The Humane Society is a worldwide organization that people can easily donate money or their time to help animals in need. There are television shows about animal cruelty and hoarding that get down to the heart of the problem and find ways to help the animals and those people who are willing to accept the help of the officers and the animal rescue. All these shows appear on a television station called “Animal Planet. The one show that specifically is about animal hoarding is “Confessions: Animal Hoarding” and on this television program the investigators go deep into the problem and try to help the animals in need and the people that are seeking help. This helps people that watch that television station understand more about animal hoarding and how it affects both human and animal. In each state there are laws about domestic animals and their treatment. In Ohio, there is a statue about offences relating to domestic animals, and it is broken down into many parts.
The statue in Ohio code is 959 and the one that specifically talks about animal cruelty, which is where animal hoarding falls under, states “No person shall: Torture an animal, deprive one of necessary sustenance, unnecessarily or cruelly beat, needlessly mutilate or kill, or impound or confine an animal without supplying it during such confinement with a sufficient quantity of good wholesome food and water” (“Ohio Cruelty”). This shows that the state is taking matter seriously and has put forth effort to help prevent animal cruelty that happens.
There are also rescue groups that are out there trying to save the animals that can be saved by removing them from the place that is causing them harm. These rescue groups help raise funds with commercials on television, with information stands at fairs, and with flyers around the neighborhood. The funds that they raise go to local shelters that help hold and find new homes for animals that have been rescued. The problems with these past solutions is that the punishment for the animal cruelty section is just a big fine while other things like animal fighting is jail time.
Both of these are harmful and can kill an animal, yet the punishments are not severe enough or less enough when it comes down to deciding the punishment for people that harm animals. Not everyone sees the commercials trying to raise money or goes to a fair and see the stands that are raising money for the animals. Many people do not know about animal hoarding or animal cruelty and those people might be willing to help if they knew more about the topic. One way to help solve this problem more would be to put a limit of the number of animals in a household.
For example, say a rescue group took a large number of animals from a home and that person went to court. Along with a fair punishment to fit their crime they should be given a limit of the number of animals they are allowed to have. For every person that is able to take care of animal should be the number of animals that household is allowed to have. The size of the animal should also be including because some animals need more attention then others depending on their size. Big dogs do not need as much attention as little dogs because little dogs have a higher energy level.
The same goes for cats and dogs, both need attention but cats do not need as much as a dog. Since hoarding is emotional attachment to animals that either fill a void of something that was taken from the person or if they honestly think they are doing good for the animals. It can take a long time in therapy for this person to overcome their animal hoarding problem. And with the limited number of animals they are allowed to have this could potential help them in overcoming their hoarding and live a normal life with a pet that they truly care about and take care of.
Another way to help solve or reduce this problem would be to check up on previous hoarders to make sure they are doing what is needed for the animals and themselves. Animal cops do check up on previous hoarders but not until months or a year later when the problem may be worse. If the checks up were closer together and more frequent then animals that live in the house of a hoarder might be saved before it is too late. Checks should be once every two months after being first convicted and if the hoarder violates the animal law again they should have a larger punishment then before, whether that is a bigger fine or jail time.
The punishment should increase every time a hoarder is caught. Plus with the checks being so close and more frequent the hoarder might actually go find help with his or her problem to stop the checkups from the police or animal rescue groups. The only problem with this solution is that it would take a lot of time for the officers to check up on all the hoarders due to there being so many, but this can be solved by having volunteers help out checking up on previous hoarders. The last thing is that people can be more informed about the problem and the risks that come with the problem.
If rescue groups reached out more besides commercials on televisions and booths at fairs then maybe the people that do not see those commercials or booths would be informed and they would be willing to help raise money, volunteer their time to help animals, or help inform other people of the problem. If rescue groups that take animals away from the hoarders inform the hoarders of the medical problems that they can have from living that type of lifestyle then may they would be willing to get help to solve their problem just to help themselves.
Not only are there medical problems fro humans, but when they go to court for animal cruelty charges they have to pay out of pocket a lot of money. The money they would be using for court could have been used to on the animals to prevent the whole ordeal. The only problem would be getting people to listen to what the problem is and what they can do to help, but it should be easy if the person likes animals. Some people may think “Well what if the animal hoarder doesn’t want help or is willing to give up the animals? This is true in most cases, but the rescuers try to keep the hoarder happy while doing what is best fro the animals. Animal hoarders have many excuses as to why they let it get so bad. Maria Vaca-Guzman, a Veterinary Medical professor at Tufts school of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts wrote an article called “Normalizing passive cruelty: The Excuses and Justifications of Animal Hoarders. ” In this article it talks about the many excuses that animal hoarders give and the justifications. Here is an example from the article about excuses.
To illustrate the use of multiple excuses, take the above-mentioned case of the woman claiming to suffer from OCD. When approximately 160 animals were found living in her trailer, she claimed to have an obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and fear of people. She also mentioned her mother would not let her get rid of some of the animals. In this case, she uses self-handicapping to excuse her behavior and a coercion based tactic (Vaca-Guzman). In this example from the article it talks about how a women used many excuses as to way her problem was that way.
It does not matter the number excuses the hoarder comes up or the justifications they may have as to why it is the way it is. If they knew it was getting out of hand they could of called rescue groups to come help them, but some people are not willing to seek help and sometimes animals or humans may suffer due to the neglect of accepting the problem exists. In conclusion the only ways to help this serious problem of animal hoarder is to limit the number of animals in a household, to check up on previous animal hoarders more, and to inform people more about the problem and the effects of the problem.
Work Cited Allan, Carrie. “Rescued from Squalor : The Humane Society of the United States. ” The Humane Society of the United States : The Humane Society of the United States. 15 July 2010. Web. 22 Mar. 2011 . “Ohio Cruelty. ” Michigan State University College of Law. Web. 23 Mar. 2011. . Vaca-Guzman, Maria, and Arnold Arluke. “Normalizing passive cruelty: The excuses and justifications of animal hoarders. ” Anthrozoos 18. 4 (2005): 338-357. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 29 Mar. 2011.