I have seen that people will hoard almost anything. It can range from certain possessions, to anything they can get their hands on, to animals. In the case of animals, it can be extremely heart breaking. These animals lack vet care, life sustaining necessities such as food and water and socialization. This is no way for an animal to live. They should be loved and treasured, just as any other being should be.
I was triggered to write this because of the recent events in Florida. Twenty-one dogs were removed from a hoarders home. They lived in outdoor kennels with very little to keep them warm. Each one had a small, filthy blanket, no food and no water. After very careful deliberation and negotiation by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the owner surrendered the animals, who was lucky all made it through.
This is not the first case of animal hoarding. This situation is made light of by a program on animal planet called “Confessions: Animal Hoarding.”” However, even though this show is meant for entertainment purposes, anyone with common sense can see that these animals are suffering. People who hoard have a mental illness or childhood trauma that has caused them to begin collecting things.
Don’t get me wrong, as a foster mom for the local animal shelter, I have quite a few dogs. Most people wonder how I can handle so many. In total I have 9 dogs in my house and 4 cats. However, I have time for each and every one of them. They do not go without food, water, or vet care. I have had them all altered (spayed or neutered). They are perfectly healthy. Each one goes for two walks per day and has plenty of space to run free in the back yard with toys and friends. They are taken to dog parks once a week for socialization and they are very friendly, happy dogs.
Would I have this many dogs on my own accord? Not really, all of the dogs, except three, are not going to stay forever. We are looking for homes for 6 of the dogs and are active in searching. Our shelter has adoptathons every weekend and we do home visits on potential adopters immediately. Background checks are ran before dogs got to new homes, to ensure that they are going to be well cared for.
There is a major difference between animal lovers and hoarders. Animal lovers ensure that they do not take on more than they can financially handle. They also ensure that they can physically handle the demands of having each dog. For instance, our terrier needs to have a longer walk than the Labrador. The terrier is a ball of energy that needs to be released for him to be properly stimulated, where the Labrador needs to work himself up to a long walk. His previous home did not walk him or give him enough stimulation to be happy.
Not everyone who has a lot of animals is a hoarder. However, those who do not properly care for the multitudes of animals that they have, are definitely hoarders. They have their animals, only to have them, not to love them.
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