First and foremost- hoarding is a mental disease. It is a sad diesease that affects many people. For some- it starts out innocently -keeping everything that comes in your home and not wanting to toss out anything.....then it can progress to the point that it affects other lives- such as those of animals. It is very sad to see the pain that hoarding can cause everyone involved. I am a foster mom/volunteer for several of the local shelters here around the midsouth. I have rescued countless animals from hoarders. It is aweful the conditions i've seen. Feces and urine everywhere, matted fur soo bad that animals can't clean themselves and wind up with urine burns because they just soil themselves (worst case i ever saw was with a hoarder who "collected" Persians.
) There were dead kittens everywhere, feces, urine, blood, trash, litter, and the odor was of rotten flesh. The animals hadn't been kept in no telling how long- nor watered. There was fur, ear mites, fleas, ticks, ringworm, feline aids and leukemia and countless other problems. Many animals were just so far gone they had to be euthanized. It was aweful
I've seen it many many times. It breaks my heart each time....and what is even worse is many times the people hoarding don't realize they're hurting the animals- they think they're helping them. It often begins when they get just one or two more than they can care for- they just can't say no- they keep taking them in and soon they're overwhelemed and can't care for them or even function. It's aweful. To this day the worst case i ever saw was all the persians we rescued from that hoarder....there were dead kittens everywhere...rotting. She had just left them there
It was aweful. There were several hundred cats in that small house. Out of those hundred- only about 150 were still living. And many of them had to be euthanized because they were just in aweful aweful condition medically- they had terminal illnesses due to lack of care and were just so sick. My shelter was however able to save about 30 of them. It took us Hours to groom them- we had to take them all to the emergency vet because they had urine burns all of their bodies (when persians matt fur on their britches- if it is left unattended it can cause severe problems- one of which is urine burns...it's aweful and very painfull for the animals.) The vets and all the volunteers were just soooooooooooo wonderful. Had it not been for them ALL of those furbabies would have died. I am happy to say that all 30 kitties we rescued went on to be adopted. It took months to socialize them all and get them used to human contact (they were pretty much feral because she never interacted with them- they were skiddish of everything.) But with lots of love and good foster meowmys- they went on to be adopted. That is the one positive note to that story....but the tragic thing is- there were hundreds of cats in that house that didn't have a happy ending. So yeah- that is what i consider to be a hoarder.....along with many other things. I will say this- i also take into consideration the condition of the home, hygiene, how clean everything is, and if the person is able to provide adequate attention, care, medical care, and money to care for the animals. I think about things like are the litter pans clean, is there adequate food/water, are the animals all up to date on medical needs and things like that...things of that nature. I try to look at the entire picture.