To be honest, it's not always easy. While the elderly tend to be more at risk, animal hoarders range in age and can be men or women. The one commonality between all hoarders is their failure to grasp the severity of their situation.
Here are several signs that may indicate someone is an animal hoarder:
The individual has numerous animals and may not know the total number of animals in his or her care.
The person’s home is vastly unkempt with dirty windows, broken furniture, holes in wall and floor or extreme clutter.
There is a strong smell of ammonia, and floors may be covered with dried feces, urine, vomit, etc.
Animals are emaciated, lethargic and not well socialized.
Fleas and vermin are present.
The individual is isolated from his or her community and appears to be neglecting him or herself.
The individual insists all of his or her animals are happy and healthy—even when there are clear signs of distress and illness.
If you think you know an animal hoarder, please pick up the phone and call your local police department, animal shelter or veterinarian to ask for help. A phone call may be the first step to get a suspected hoarder and the animals the help they need.
For more information about animal hoarding, see our Hoarding FAQ.
Yesterday, pop star Katy Perry celebrated her 27th birthday by helping animals in need. Katy asked her friends, family and fans to donate to the ASPCA in honor of her special day, and we couldn’t be more thankful! The funds raised by Katy’s generous birthday wish will directly impact the lives of countless animals.
Want to Donate Your Birthday, Too? Have you ever thought about helping animals for your birthday? Well, they sure could use the support. Every year millions of pets suffer from neglect, abuse and homelessness. By donating your birthday to the ASPCA, you will directly help our life-saving efforts and join our fight to end animal cruelty.
It’s easy to get started—and quite rewarding, too. Just set up your own special ASPCA birthday page and watch as your family and friends donate critical funds for animals in your honor. So go ahead—try something a little different this year and launch your own ASPCA Birthday Campaign.
The ASPCA issued the following statement today after a carriage horse tragically collapsed and died en route to Central Park in Midtown Manhattan:
"The ASPCA was made aware of an incident this morning during which a carriage horse heading to Central Park collapsed and died on the street," says Stacy Wolf, Vice President & Chief Legal Counsel of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement. "At present, the findings are inconclusive, but the ASPCA is investigating the cause of death. The horse is in the ASPCA's custody and is being transported to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine for a necropsy. We at the ASPCA express our sadness and concern at this tragic incident. The life of a carriage horse on New York City streets is extremely difficult and life threatening and the ASPCA has long believed that carriage horses were never meant to live and work in today's urban setting."
Schools were closed. Businesses shut down. And the majority of residents stayed locked in their homes as local law enforcement hunted down more than 50 exotic animals—including lions, tigers, wolves and bears—roaming loose on city streets. While this may sound like a scene from a horror movie, it actually took place yesterday in the city of Zanesville, Ohio.
The animals belonged to exotic animal collector, Terry Thompson, who freed them before committing suicide. According to the Muskingum County Animal Shelter, Thompson had a long history of neglecting his animals. Of the 56 roaming animals, only a grizzly bear, two monkeys and three leopards were captured alive.
“We are outraged and horrified by the events that took place in Zanesville,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “In response, we are strongly urging Governor Kasich to issue an emergency order toprevent any more needless loss of life for released or escaped exotic animals, as well as to ensure the safety of Ohio residents.”
In an official statement made last night, the ASPCA called on Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to restrict the sale and possession of exotic animals. Ohio is currently one of only eight states that do not regulate private ownership of exotic animals.
Since the vast majority of people who keep exotic pets cannot meet their needs, the animals often become the victims of abuse and neglect—they are caged, chained, tranquilized or even beaten into submission. Further, thousands of people are attacked and seriously injured by exotic pets each year.
“The exotic pet trade is a multi-billion dollar industry that contributes to the suffering of millions of animals and endangers countless people,” says Perry. “It needs to end.”
The ASPCA, along with our Shelter Response Partnership network, is currently transporting 27 dogs from the Rowan County Humane Society in Morehead, Kentucky, to the Capital Area Humane Society in Columbus, Ohio, and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey. The move will help make room for 118 dogs recently seized during a puppy mill investigation led by the Rowan County Attorney’s Office in Morehead.
The ASPCA’s Shelter Response Partnership network is a coalition of national and local agencies that provide a second chance for animals rescued from overcrowded facilities and cruelty investigations.
“To help communities with limited resources, the ASPCA works collaboratively with its response partners on cases where shelter animals need to be relocated,” says Joel Lopez, Senior Manager of Operations for the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response Team.
The transported animals will be placed up for adoption.
With your help, the ASPCA remains at the forefront of ending the cruelties associated with puppy mills. To learn more about the Rowan County puppy mill investigation, please visit our earlier post.