Hoarders R’ Us

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The worst form of animal abuse is when you are abusing an animal and in your demented mind, you think you are helping them.

Inflicting cruelty while being ignorant to it and then claiming a moral high-ground is the worst.

I got called out to a call today and the signs of beginnings of a hoarder situation were clear as day.

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-Inability to discard items that have nothing more than sentimental value.

– Inability to keep living conditions clean and hazard free.

And this was just in the backyard.

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As me and the Police officers entered the house, we smelled the Ammonia smell generated by cat feces and urine. Most hoarders are so used it that they cannot smell it in their house.

There were litter-boxes by the dozens, with dry feces in them. There were cat feces on the floor, under the bed, in the closet, on the mattresses, on furniture.

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Scores of old collectible items from the 60’s and the 70’s littered the house. Open cans of cat-food were scattered on the floor.

Among all this ciaos were 32 cats; hard to even count as some hid under the furniture and some frittered from one room to another. 2 separate litters of kittens were in the mix of animals.

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The owners were on vacation in Spain and in their mind they had RESCUED these cats; even the 4 kittens those lay dead amongst the mayhem or the cats with infected eyes and severe upper respiratory infections.

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One of the dead kittens had been almost completely eaten up by some of the biggest maggots I’ve seen.

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While investigating cruelty it is IMPERATIVE to get into the mind of the perpetrator. It is absolutely essential to be able to interview him/her so that you can understand their mindset and educate others.

I didn’t get a chance to interview them because they were overseas but I can see that they were novice hoarders. They had started recently (maybe within a year) and were getting there quickly. One can tell from the items in their house and the way they have been strewn. If the collectibles follow a theme (and their theme was old music LP’s and jukeboxes and sports trophies) then they can be helped with adequate and consistent counseling.

However, if they have been collecting items just for the sake of collecting (and in this case I saw that with the empty bottles of 66 in the yard those were buried halfway to form a path- in somewhat creative way) and the range is so wide that there is no theme; then you are in trouble.

In Houston we had pulled 72 cats and 23 dogs in a house half the size of the house I went in today. That was a point of no recovery for the humans.

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Prosecution and punishment are tools to dissuade in our fight against cruelty to animals. Real change however, will only be affected by education and to educate we need to understand people AND be empathetic; even to the perpetrators we all in animal activism are so ready to kill.

It’s a difficult task. Clearly it is.

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It’s harder to be empathetic and non-judgemental when someone has clearly hurt an animal so badly. When I see this human I will have the image of the kitten almost liquefied by maggots clear in my head- but when I interview him, I will be empathetic.

So help me, god.

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