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Old 01-18-2011, 06:40 PM
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Default Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

This story has about a million different things in it that I want to fight about.

To be clear, it's almost never anyone else's fault when someone commits suicide, and it's not the AC officer's fault that this woman did. But the whole story is just a big, tragic clusterfuck.

Obviously, there's not much detail in that story itself, so I can't say whether it applies in this case, but it's not at all uncommon for animal control to casually overreact and end up doing more harm than good. And it does point up how important pets are to a lot of people's general well being. Which is something those animal hoarding shows do too. They go all scorched earth on them and take away all or most of their pets, and then gloss over what happens to the animals. Even for non-hoarding people with pets, it can be miserable and depressing to live without them. With animal hoarders, that's obviously only going to be amplified. It'd have to be pretty traumatic to lose them all so suddenly like that.

Yeah, her pets shouldn't have gotten out, and it's troubling if the house really was unsanitary, but if the house was actually unsafe, and had two humans and eleven animals, how does it help to just remove all the animals to an overcrowded, high kill shelter rather than offering some kind of help or at least some time to improve their situation? (Their municipal shelter kills 16,000 pets a year, and they've already killed at least one of the dogs.) Why remove the animals and leave the people there? Why not call Adult Protective Services if it was that bad? And how does it make any kind of fiscal sense, even, to be so zealous about confiscating animals in an area where animal control and sheltering is so overextended already?

It's just a fucked up notion of animal welfare, and no notion at all of human welfare.

Oh, and apparently, Memphis' mandatory spay and neuter law is just a few months old, too. And it's even stupider than a lot of stupid MSN laws, in that you can pay $200 for an exemption, so it's pretty much only applicable to poor people. In low income areas, the biggest obstacle to speutering is usually that it's expensive, so people who can't afford it will often either surrender their pets to the shelter, or just not license them or take them to the vet, hoping they don't get caught. It'd be far more effective to just start up a voucher or other low cost spay and neuter option, and it'd probably be cheaper than it is to enforce that law.

I know people are always saying that the animal welfare problem in the south is a cultural thing, but it's a bad, stupid cultural thing that needs to be fixed.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Well, I can see the problems. Having more animals than one can care for is unhealthy for the animals and the people, and hoarding is a mental illness that is unhealthy for the hoarder and family most times. Sometimes either condition can present a public health or safety concern. Combining those makes a fucking mess of a problem that is very difficult to solve.

Ideally, there needs to be a comprehensive and planned intervention that addresses all the factors and keeps the needs and best interests of all the living beings at the forefront, headed by an experienced professional as well as someone the hoarder trusts.

In reality there is just a bunch of different types of cops-AC, Health Department, regular cops- that react without planning and do not coordinate with each other.

I don't know if it's about the South only, seems to me this can and does happen everywhere.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Oh, I know animal hoarding isn't endemic to the South. It happens here too. (I used to work with a guy who was probably a cat hoarder, and I have a friend who used to work in a huge vet's office in Denver who dealt with a lot of hoarders, too.)

Animal welfare in general, though, is in considerably worse shape in the southern states. Shelters in the south have higher kill rates, spaying and neutering is less widely adopted and even accepted, there are more puppy mills, etc. There are all kinds of transport services that pull animals out of southern shelters and take them to northern states for adoption. Generally, it's a rich-poor thing moreso, but there are added cultural elements in the southern US that makes the situation worse. And people kind of wave those things off as 'cultural differences.' Which they are, but the fact that they're 'cultural differences' doesn't necessarily mean they're acceptable.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Agreed. Not long before I moved here, my mom said a cop came door to door through the neighborhood explaining the new leash and confinement laws. Mom had a fenced yard, and though she occasionally walked the dogs off leash, they were always accompanied. She simply put a leash on them. Most of the non native neighbors had no problem with this.

Some of them, though (old white Southerners) were livid at being told how to handle their property, and continued to let their dogs free roam. I know two of those neighbors lost dogs because they wandered to the highway and got hit by cars. So there is a cultural thing, but some of the younger generation is better from what I can tell. The true rednecks will never hear it though...by gawd they'll leave their unaltered males free roaming or worse, chained in the front yard if they want to.

ETA: The story in the OP and the follow-up are written so badly and so one sided I can't even determine what actually happened. It may totally be a case of fuck the animal cops, but the husband may be lying, confused, or in denial too. Like no explanation as to why the dog "had" to be euthanize?

Last edited by LadyShea; 01-19-2011 at 03:05 AM.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

The RSPCA and some councils will spay and vet check pets free under certain circumstances. From what I've seen it's a case by case basis, not a general rule.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

We don't really have any kind of national program here. Animal control is left up to individual municipalities, and the types of things available vary quite a bit. In fact, there are a lot of places in the US that don't have animal control departments at all, so their whole animal control policy is to have the police go out and shoot strays.

We have it pretty good here, for example. Animal control is a part of the police department, and we contract sheltering services to a local boarding facility for short term intake, and Boulder's humane society for longer term sheltering, adoptions, and other services. Boulder is a pretty wealthy and progressive community, so they offer a lot of services, including discounted vet care (including S&N) for low income families. And we also have a number of different privately run places that offer low or no cost vet care. But not everyone has access to those types of services. Some communities have offered vouchers, but when they pass mandatory S&N laws, they tend to run out quickly, leaving a lot of low income people unable to comply with the laws, which just exacerbates their problems as people surrender their pets to shelters, or go underground, not licensing or vetting their pets for fear of getting caught.

In the long run, it's counterproductive to pass restrictive and punitive laws instead of working to solve the underlying issue of education and access to affordable services. It's also just plain inhumane to everyone.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:55 AM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Maybe they should have ground them up into doggie and kittie burgers or, possibly the owners? Or, maybe the animal control folks themselves, who were merely doing their jobs and exorcising the right to feed themselves or, at least the stench from the house. Which of course begs the question, Do dogs have a right to smell? since, after all, nature did endow them with a very keen sense of it.

In other words who is in the right here? ... unless of course it were Great Britain and everyone stood on the left side of the road. :yup:
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:58 AM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

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Originally Posted by Iacchus View Post
exorcising the right to feed themselves

:preach:
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:45 AM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

We have 4 dogs, a cat, a ferret, and a parrot. Also, five or six humans.

The cat (Louie) is the oldest and still in good health. I demanded upon moving from Maine to Michigan at age 4 that my parents replace my first cat Barney (who had to be given to the neighbors) with a new "white fluffy one" or else I'd stop loving them or something stupid. My parents are awesome and somehow managed to make it happen and searched the city for a damn cat that met that description. And there he was amongst a litter of kittens somewhere out there. He's the nicest, sweetest, most wonderful creature in the world and we've been best friends forevaaaa.

The old German Shepard (MacGyver) we've had for nearly 14 years now, and this is to be his last winter. Our Snoodle (Tucker) we picked up a yard sale for literally 6 dollars. Obviously they didn't want him anymore, so someone had to take him in. He's so damn cute, too, but a fucking yapper.

The other two are just temporary boarders whilst my brothers are in town. The chow-mix(Penny) was a stray who wandered into two of my bros' appartment building in Louisville looking for food and is now a fat sausage of a canine. Her sister is my other bro's German Shepard (First New Spice, than Spicey, than Zooey, than Zoopy, now Super Zoop - all interchangeable and ever changing) who is from a long line of search and rescue dogs and super well-behaved and obedient. She's incredibly fixated on playing, to a fault. Like neuroticism if she being isn't played with ALL THE TIME. She's getting better, though, and taking away her toys and putting them away has taught her that she can't force us to play whenever she wants and then cry like a baby when we won't.

Things can get out of control sometimes with a pack-mentality, but for the majority of the time they are peaceful and know their boundaries with eachother. Plus aside from the old one, they are all medium/ small sized and don't get in the way too much.

The ferret (Strider) is shared between my brother and I and about 9 years old. The trouble with him is that the dogs will go after him, so he can only get exercise when their outside and that takes some strategy. When he is out, he's super playful.

The parrot (Rael Lupe) is mine and I've probalay had her for three years, but she is older than that. She I took ownership of when relatives of mine moved out of town and didn't want her anymore. I love her and a lot of the time am forced to give her my undivided attention because birds are like that.

So, yeah, I don't know what the limit it is before they come to your house with cameras and take them all away, but it's always been that way with our family (at least since I was born). We've had chickens, ducks, giant aquariums, multiple beta "japanese fighting fish" which were bred in fish bowls then dispersed around the house, a litter of kittens we've bottle fed, rabbits, a guinea pig, hamsters, all sorts of pets. Never did I think that we had too many, but then again we've always taken care of them to the best of our ability.

I think every animal has a right to an owner that is committed to them. Eleven animals seems like a lot for just TWO people to take care of. You have divide up who takes care of what with multiple pets. So I don't know how I feel about them taking them away if they weren't cared for properly. It's a double edge sword, really. If they had done nothing they would still have been scrutinized and there is never foreseeing something this tragic happening. Hind sight is 20/20, so they say.

I'm not in the business of animal control, either, so I'm not confident in voicing my opinion on the practice without knowing the specifics/ usual protocal. Mostly I'm here to brag about all the cool pets I have hoarded.



Indeed I think all domesticated animals deserve the right to caring owners, adequate amounts of food/ fresh water, grooming/ healthcare, a sanitary enviroment, and just overall basic good living conditions. When those things are denied, it's understandable that ownership could be denied, but there is definate difference between abuse and neglect and the punishment/ rehabilitation shouldn't be the same in every given situation.

I haven't read the story in the OP because it's not loading and also I heard it is written badly so there, but in situations where people care about their pets but don't/ can't care for them and verge into being neglectful - something has to happen. If animal control INSISTS on finding a new home for the animals:
Firstly, does it have to be all of them? Surely if they can't take care of 11 (what are they, anyway?) animals, maybe they can support four or six.
Then the animals going to different homes shouldn't just being taken away and then the owner be condemned criminal for (in effect) being impoverished and unable to take care of them.

Basically what LadyShea said:
Quote:
Ideally, there needs to be a comprehensive and planned intervention that addresses all the factors and keeps the needs and best interests of all the living beings at the forefront, headed by an experienced professional as well as someone the hoarder trusts.
But I would add that I think it would be very important that the former owner was allowed to meet the people the animals are going to and be able to visit them at least once in their new home after being explained that it would be better for said animal. That is, if seperation were necessary. Or something. Plus, also, STOP WITH THE REALITY TV CAMERAS.

Sorry for the :tldr:. I could have been more concise.
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Last edited by Gonzo; 01-19-2011 at 04:55 AM.
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2011, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

A nurse committed suicide recently here and had been hoarding animals, previous to her suicide.

Pet rescuers surprised by West Linn hoarder's menagerie | OregonLive.com

A lot of them were hard to place exotic animals, like iguanas and parrots.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

I agree that the OP news story illuminates a lot of problems (including journalistic). But my inclination is to redress them at the level of animal care facilities, not by leaving animals with people who are hoarding animals and either not caring well for them or not controlling them properly.

In general, I doubt you get a charge of "dogs on the loose" just because one of them got out once or twice. And while I'm sensitive to "think of the dogs" and "think of the woman", I'm also sensitive to "think of the neighbours". In fact, dogs are awesome, but someone who hoards them is very likely to be a bad neighbour; it's worth considering how these problems are not just between the dogs and owner, but may well be off-loaded onto a lot of people living nearby.

In fact, I see no problem with licensing dog ownership, and making the conditions more stringent than owning a fully automatic rifle. I guess what I'm trying to say is that people who own dogs are horrible people.

(You did say you wanted to fight. I'm trying to help.)
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

I want to fight too. Unless we are talking about raising animals on a farm, hoarding animals is fucked in the head.

I think people who seek affection from vast numbers of subjugated living creatures (i.e., lots of pets) are control freaks in one way shape or form. Their control freakishness may not manifest itself in a nefarious manner but chances are that it is a red flag of an underlying fucked-uppedness in the head.

My guess is that they probably have trouble coping with normal human relations or they have some underlying insecurities. To put it bluntly, your pet has no choice but to love you back because your pet needs to eat. A fellow human being usually has more freedom to tell you to take your bullshit and shove it.


Quoting the article in the OP:
Quote:
“They were her babies. They were her life. She treated them like children,” said Morgan.

The question is why did the animal control worker take all of the dogs?

“The dogs were fine. The house reeked but the dogs were fine,” said Morgan.
Yeah, they are fucked up in the head.
Either her husband just lost his beard or she mind-fucked him far too long for him to notice.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzo View Post
I think every animal has a right to an owner that is committed to them. Eleven animals seems like a lot for just TWO people to take care of. You have divide up who takes care of what with multiple pets. So I don't know how I feel about them taking them away if they weren't cared for properly. It's a double edge sword, really. If they had done nothing they would still have been scrutinized and there is never foreseeing something this tragic happening. Hind sight is 20/20, so they say.
It obviously was too many for them, and eleven animals does seem like a lot just on its face. But I also think that eleven kids is too many, and I don't think they should be removed from their home unless they're being seriously abused or neglected.

I think it is fairly difficult to permanently remove children from their home, even in fairly serious situations. (I don't know this for sure, and I'm sure guidelines differ on that, but it should have a pretty high burden of proof, so I'll say it does.)

And of course, one of the big differences between confiscating children vs. confiscating animals is that authorities don't keep the children in cages and kill them if they get a cold or they're too much trouble.

So if you consider what the best interests of the animal are, it's almost always going to be to try to find a way to leave them in their home. Especially in a place where the vast majority of animals (something like 86% IIRC, but I'm too lazy to re-find that nugget) that enter the shelter doors are killed.

And as far as setting animal limits, that's usually sloppy, and I don't see any good reason for it, really. Our city, for example, despite its otherwise pretty animal friendly environment, has some ridiculously small limit. I think it's four four-legged animals per household (I'm not sure if there's a loophole for amputees). Thing is, they don't seem to actively enforce it or anything, so if they ever use it, it's probably in cases where they have another reason to go in, like some kind of nuisance or sanitation issue.

Quote:
Mostly I'm here to brag about all the cool pets I have hoarded.
Yay because I liked your stories.

Quote:


Quote:
Indeed I think all domesticated animals deserve the right to caring owners, adequate amounts of food/ fresh water, grooming/ healthcare, a sanitary enviroment, and just overall basic good living conditions. When those things are denied, it's understandable that ownership could be denied, but there is definate difference between abuse and neglect and the punishment/ rehabilitation shouldn't be the same in every given situation.

I haven't read the story in the OP because it's not loading and also I heard it is written badly so there, but in situations where people care about their pets but don't/ can't care for them and verge into being neglectful - something has to happen. If animal control INSISTS on finding a new home for the animals:
Firstly, does it have to be all of them? Surely if they can't take care of 11 (what are they, anyway?) animals, maybe they can support four or six.
Then the animals going to different homes shouldn't just being taken away and then the owner be condemned criminal for (in effect) being impoverished and unable to take care of them.
Yeah, the story is so sparse you almost have to take it as a hypothetical. It does sound like something hinky is going on, because a) they took ALL the animals, and b) they wouldn't let the media even see them to confirm that they were in bad shape, which makes their claims extra-suspect, especially in light of the fact that they've already killed at least one.

Apart from that, we don't even know what the circumstances surrounding it were. We don't know if they had a recurring problem, we don't know if they had given them any chances to fix things or tried other measures, and we don't know how bad the situation really was. If the house was truly unsafe, if the animals were actually in bad shape from it, etc.

Quote:
But I would add that I think it would be very important that the former owner was allowed to meet the people the animals are going to and be able to visit them at least once in their new home after being explained that it would be better for said animal.
Well, in this case, odds are not good that any of the animals are going to get new homes. That's why I think it's even more important that confiscation should be a last resort.

This is apparently the shelter they went to:

Continuing Chaos at Memphis Animal Shelter | Animals | Change.org

They were 'rescued' to a shelter where dogs have been starved to death.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:09 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

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Originally Posted by Clutch Munny View Post
I agree that the OP news story illuminates a lot of problems (including journalistic). But my inclination is to redress them at the level of animal care facilities, not by leaving animals with people who are hoarding animals and either not caring well for them or not controlling them properly.

In general, I doubt you get a charge of "dogs on the loose" just because one of them got out once or twice. And while I'm sensitive to "think of the dogs" and "think of the woman", I'm also sensitive to "think of the neighbours". In fact, dogs are awesome, but someone who hoards them is very likely to be a bad neighbour; it's worth considering how these problems are not just between the dogs and owner, but may well be off-loaded onto a lot of people living nearby.
That's absolutely true. I'd be interested in seeing exactly what the situation was, and what would prompt them not just to confiscate the animals that were loose, but also all the rest of them in the house.

I'd also want to see what their previous experience was, and if they really had sufficient cause to take such a drastic action, or if they just got into authoritarian mode and didn't consider it drastic.

Quote:
In fact, I see no problem with licensing dog ownership, and making the conditions more stringent than owning a fully automatic rifle. I guess what I'm trying to say is that people who own dogs are horrible people.
What kind of conditions are you talking about? Thing is, most of the time I see stringent requirements for dog licensing, it comes down to 'Poor people shouldn't have pets.' And the main thing this story illustrates is that some people really need their pets to be functional. For some people, not being able to have a pet is a really really devastating thing; and I really don't think it's something we should be doing except in cases where there's no other workable option.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Have you watched Confessions: Animal Hoarders on Animal Planet? You know how stuff hoarders are super emotionally attached to their papers and boxes and whatever? Add a living being that attaches back. OMG heartbreaking and sad...but really, in at least some cases, the hoarder is completely blind to the condition of their animals...maybe due to being overwhelmed, but maybe it's a symptom of the illness too, ya know?

Rescuing to a crappy, underfunded, high kill shelter is not even close to the answer. But AC are cops not animal welfare workers, and certainly not social workers. There will be cases like this with animal hoarders due to that fact, I think.

In some areas AC works closely with a local animal welfare group, or the animal welfare group is contracted by the local government. Like we have a SPCA here that works with the county. Others have county facilities that are just pet jails used to house them during some legal process. I think the human aspect of a hoarding situation is just so complicated.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Samuel8 View Post
I want to fight too. Unless we are talking about raising animals on a farm, hoarding animals is fucked in the head.

I think people who seek affection from vast numbers of subjugated living creatures (i.e., lots of pets) are control freaks in one way shape or form. Their control freakishness may not manifest itself in a nefarious manner but chances are that it is a red flag of an underlying fucked-uppedness in the head.

My guess is that they probably have trouble coping with normal human relations or they have some underlying insecurities. To put it bluntly, your pet has no choice but to love you back because your pet needs to eat. A fellow human being usually has more freedom to tell you to take your bullshit and shove it.
Yes, some of that is pretty definitely true in many cases, and is probably true in this one, although I think you're overstating the case. (A lot of the things you say about pets also apply to babies and young children. They've all just got Stockholm Syndrome.)

Quote:
Quoting the article in the OP:
Quote:
“They were her babies. They were her life. She treated them like children,” said Morgan.

The question is why did the animal control worker take all of the dogs?

“The dogs were fine. The house reeked but the dogs were fine,” said Morgan.
Yeah, they are fucked up in the head.
Either her husband just lost his beard or she mind-fucked him far too long for him to notice.
Yes, there are some people who are, as you say, fucked up in the head to varying degrees. So what, though?

Our neighborhood for some reason is full of various types of old age homes. They range from just apartments for seniors to nursing homes to an end of life hospice type facility that's the destination for 90% of the emergency vehicles that come around.

At the end of our street is a little staffed building where some relatively self-sufficient old people live. They each have their own little apartments, and they have a round the clock staff there to assist with stuff. Also, they get to have small pets. The people in that facility go outside all the time, walking their little dogs, who are sometimes wearing outfits. They go down to the convenience store on the block and hang out. They talk to other people, they take walks because they have to. Most of them really like it when you stop and compliment their dogs. You should be careful doing this if you're in a hurry, though, because some of them will talk for an hour or more. Because they are, in fact, lonely.

In fact, old people walking little dogs is a really prevalent feature in our area. If you sit on my front yard for an hour or so just about any day there isn't violent and active precipitation, odds are good at least a couple discrete instances of old people with little dogs will pass right in front of you. AND you probably won't see anyone over about 70 or so who doesn't have a little dog with them.

Yes, I suspect a lot of them are lonely. Just statistically, it's safe to assume a lot of them are widowed. If they have kids, they moved away a long time ago and only see them on visits if at all. And those dogs do serve a purpose for them. They provide them with companionship, an excuse to go out for walks, and a conversation starter so they can connect with other people.

Is that fucked up? Are they too emotionally dependent on their pets? Should their dogs be taken away too in the interests of mental health? Personally, I think those little dressed up dogs are GOOD for both their mental and their physical health.

Or is there some line for emotional dependency or whatever that you're drawing somewhere past that point? If so, what is the point where you decide that someone's emotional instability or fuckedupedness is something that the state should intervene in?

See, I don't think it's the state's business to be establishing or mandating levels of emotional health for its constituents. I would like to see it leave people alone unless they're hurting someone else in some tangible way.

As such, I don't really think your armchair psychoanalysis is useful or relevant.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:41 PM
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In fact, I see no problem with licensing dog ownership, and making the conditions more stringent than owning a fully automatic rifle. I guess what I'm trying to say is that people who own dogs are horrible people.
What kind of conditions are you talking about?
That was a joke. I think that fully automatic rifles should have more stringent acquisition conditions than dogs.

Maybe that's more obvious when you're from Canada. Sorry!

The other stuff I totally agree with.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:49 PM
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Maybe that's more obvious when you're from Canada. Sorreh!
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

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In fact, I see no problem with licensing dog ownership, and making the conditions more stringent than owning a fully automatic rifle. I guess what I'm trying to say is that people who own dogs are horrible people.
What kind of conditions are you talking about?
That was a joke. I think that fully automatic rifles should have more stringent acquisition conditions than dogs.

Maybe that's more obvious when you're from Canada. Sorry!

The other stuff I totally agree with.
Apologies. I forgot you were Canadian for a minute.

I will make every effort going forward to be mindful that you are a soggy french fry eating fascist.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:00 PM
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Much appreciated. I'm sure that will help.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:37 PM
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Have you watched Confessions: Animal Hoarders on Animal Planet? You know how stuff hoarders are super emotionally attached to their papers and boxes and whatever? Add a living being that attaches back. OMG heartbreaking and sad...but really, in at least some cases, the hoarder is completely blind to the condition of their animals...maybe due to being overwhelmed, but maybe it's a symptom of the illness too, ya know?
I have. In fact, I was obligated to watch the last episode because I read the blog of a lady who was involved in rescuing some of the chickens from that one guy's house. They did a real shit job on that.

Which brings me to one of my gigantic problems with those shows and with media coverage in general.

Obviously, the show is manipulated for drama purposes. Also, obviously, sometimes they don't need to manipulate much. But the show tends to go all scorched earth, removing all or most of the pets, cleaning up the house, and then showing the person later eating off a clean table or having visitors or something.

They totally gloss over big parts of it, though. They'll show that giant TV-friendly HSUS truck roll up and they put all the animals in there and call them rescued. THE END.

But the HSUS doesn't run a shelter. How is it a rescue just to load an animal onto a truck from an organization that has such an awful track record with domestic animals? (In fact, the HSUS has sometimes been an active detriment to rescues trying to save animals, when they lobby to have them killed, forcing the actual rescues to expend some of their very limited time and money fighting them instead of saving animals.)

Freaky thing. I was looking for info about this and came upon someone else making almost exactly the same point I was just going to make:

Raised By Wolves: Seized and Saved

But those shows seem to rarely highlight less extreme measures. (I don't watch them regularly, so maybe they do sometimes and I don't know about it.)

How about rolling up a mobile spay and neuter van to staunch the proliferation? How about helping people manage their animals, hooking them up with vetting and pet food banks, and maybe some volunteer efforts to fix up their housing, rather than just clearing them all out and making them someone else's problem? How about focusing on adoption efforts to winnow down someone's hoard, and adopting them straight out into fosters, sanctuaries, and permanent homes, rather than just tooling away with them in a big dumb truck like that? How about letting them keep as many as they can reasonably handle, rather than getting them down to somewhere between zero and two or whatever?

Best yet, how about some combination of those things?

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In some areas AC works closely with a local animal welfare group, or the animal welfare group is contracted by the local government. Like we have a SPCA here that works with the county. Others have county facilities that are just pet jails used to house them during some legal process. I think the human aspect of a hoarding situation is just so complicated.
Yeah. That's what it comes down to. It's complicated. Every case is different, and it's something that IMO requires creative solutions that probably don't translate well to either Official Policy or to reality show development.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:46 PM
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It's complicated. Every case is different, and it's something that IMO requires creative solutions that probably don't translate well to either Official Policy or to reality show development.
Yep. So I'll just go back to

there needs to be a comprehensive and planned intervention that addresses all the factors and keeps the needs and best interests of all the living beings at the forefront, headed by an experienced professional as well as someone the hoarder trusts.

The thing is I know it is absolutely possible to keep large numbers of animals without it being problematic. A lady in Vegas ran a ferret rescue, and had a spotless facility and well cared for animals, even though she had dozens. I just watched a show about Alaska dogs, and the conscientious thoughtful owners worked hard, all day, but had happy fucking sled dogs (especially impressed with a model turned musher named Zoya). -Unfortunately, some city folk or whatever decide to move to Alaska and buy dogs and have some kind of instant sled team, then are like "This is hard!" so thousands of excellent runners are in shelters and/or euthanized there.-. Anyway my point is that many hoarders seem to lack the ability to avoid the problems and unhealthy conditions.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:08 PM
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The thing is I know it is absolutely possible to keep large numbers of animals without it being problematic. A lady in Vegas ran a ferret rescue, and had a spotless facility and well cared for animals, even though she had dozens. I just watched a show about Alaska dogs, and the conscientious thoughtful owners worked hard, all day, but had happy fucking sled dogs (especially impressed with a model turned musher named Zoya).
True, every word of it; but ferrets are not dogs, and an actual kennel "located in the foothills of the magnificent Alaska Range near the edge of timberline" is not an urban or suburban house. The conditions under which it is possible to keep large numbers of animals without it being problematic are, I think, extraordinarily difficult to achieve in the typical environment of the city or town-dwelling hoarder.

Also, and off the top of my head: if an agency takes away someone's pets, it should automatically arrange and pay for counseling and pet care training. Ideally there should also be clear instructions on what training, pledges, and home improvements would be sufficient to get the pets back, or at at least be permitted to get new ones. IOW, the default aim of the process ought to be to give (some of) the pets back. This'd go a long way towards averting a sense of hopelessness.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:23 PM
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... but had happy fucking sled dogs
So, they were actual breeders? :yup:
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:00 AM
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Yes, some of that is pretty definitely true in many cases, and is probably true in this one, although I think you're overstating the case. (A lot of the things you say about pets also apply to babies and young children. They've all just got Stockholm Syndrome.)
Personally, I think it is healthy and normal for parents to be emotionally attached to their babies and young children. I do not accept any parallel with hoarding pets.

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Yes, there are some people who are, as you say, fucked up in the head to varying degrees. So what, though?
I only care to the degree that it bothers other people. It bothers other people in two possible ways:
1) disturbing the neighbors as Clutch identified
2) wasting my taxes to handle their absurdity.
It is just astonishing how serious you folks are in expecting the tax-payers to bend over backwards for what amounts -- in my bold opinion -- to a fucked up woman who killed herself over the death of her pet rock.
Yes, I am making a parallel between her pets and pet rocks.





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Our neighborhood for some reason is full of various types of old age homes.
---SNIP---
Yes, I suspect a lot of them are lonely. Just statistically, it's safe to assume a lot of them are widowed. If they have kids, they moved away a long time ago and only see them on visits if at all. And those dogs do serve a purpose for them. They provide them with companionship, an excuse to go out for walks, and a conversation starter so they can connect with other people.

Is that fucked up? Are they too emotionally dependent on their pets?
I have no problem with that. I am talking about hoarding.
Also, old people get a little more leeway in the crazy department. They have deserve to get away with a little bit of nuttiness.


Just as a disclaimer: I own a pet cat. She is cute and fluffy. Mrs.Sam gave her to me.


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Or is there some line for emotional dependency or whatever that you're drawing somewhere past that point? If so, what is the point where you decide that someone's emotional instability or fuckedupedness is something that the state should intervene in?
I do not believe the state should intervene anywhere.
I am just saying that certain behaviors are fucked up and they disturb others.

If fucked up people disturb others, they would be wise to expect their neighbors to revolt.






Just as a disclaimer: I own a pet cat. She is cute and fluffy. Somehow, she knows when Mrs.Sam is not putting out enough and comes to rest on my lap.
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