Helping or Hoarding?

Profile photo of Rachelle-O

Posted February 4, 2011 by Rachelle Owen

Many of us have had a peek into the bizarre world of hoarding courtesy of reality TV. Collecting piles and piles of household junk is bad enough, but when hoarders collect living animals, the results are extreme neglect, suffering, and death.

According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), “It is likely that up to a quarter million animals—250,000 per year—are victims of hoarders. What’s more, records kept by ALDF indicate that in the last four years, the number of reported hoarding cases has more than doubled.”

Alarmingly, as a result of public pressure to avoid euthanasia at all costs, the hoarding mentality has infiltrated animal reports that groups calling themselves “rescues” and “shelters” currently account for one-fourth of the estimated 6,000 new hoarding cases annually reported in the U.S. This is just one more way that trying to become “no-kill” before becoming “no-birth” hurts animals.

Cat suffering horribly at Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary.

No-kill shelters sentence animals to a life in prison.

When animal shelters and rescue groups—such as South Carolina’s terribly inaccurately named Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary—aren’t themselves hoarding animals, they sometimes farm out animals to anyone who will take them, including hoarders, in order to reduce the number of animals they euthanize.

Here are just two examples:

  • In December 2010, the New Jersey SPCA and police raided the home of so-called animal rescuer Dawn Scheld and seized nearly 60 dogs who were hoarded in reportedly “filthy” conditions on her property. According to news reports, “When agents arrived, most of the animals were living in their own waste, a number of them in outside pens with insufficient shelter, little evidence of food, and frozen water. Most were suffering from some kind of illness, and many were in serious condition ….” Scheld had acquired many of the dogs from animal shelters that hand over animals to anyone claiming to be a “rescue” in order to reduce their euthanasia statistics.
  • In September 2010, authorities raided an apartment rented by a foster caregiver for several Austin-area animal shelters and seized 78 cats. One-third of the cats were found dead in an unplugged refrigerator. The ironically named organization Austin Pets Alive! stated, “We have been informed by TLAC [Town Lake Animal Control] authorities that 5 of the 75 [sic] seized cats were originally saved by us from TLAC’s euthanasia list.” The hoarder had also adopted cats directly from TLAC.

Flooding left these dogs with nowhere to go.

No animal should ever have to live in conditions like this.

If you want to help keep animals out of hoarders’ hands, volunteer at your local shelter and note how the shelter screens potential fosters, placement partners, rescue groups and adopters. If something looks wrong, it probably is. Please also spay and neuter all your animal companions—it’s the only real way to prevent animals from being born only to end up homeless or hoarded.

Stay loud!



Post a Comment

Please log in to comment.

Your email address will not be published.

Connect with Facebook

Your email address will not be published.

Connect with Facebook

  • 1737 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    Thank you,PETA for publicizing this issue. I hope you will continue to do so.We are a nontraditional “rescue” group which provides low cost spay/neuter,education,and transportation for low income cat owners in Baltimore city and surrounding counties.We average close to 1000 cats a year,that we return to their owners”fixed”.They are more likely to stay in their homes and are healthier.I am quite familiar with the practices at BARCS, the semi private branch of the city shelter. She has for several years put out cats,kittens and dogs unaltered,and has farmed out huge numbers of cats to “rescue” groups and fosters and in addition solicits anyone to become a foster,all in the name of”rescue,no kill and adoption”.On several occasions the cats which I picked up for s/n came from BARCS,and fosters from BARCS (documented on the vaccination record of one FVRCP vaccine)and with the remark from the owner “they had lots of cats and the house really smelled and was filthy”.I have learned a lot about the practices of rescue groups and the perpetuation and exploitation of overpopulation by these groups.Unfortunately there are no standards, no oversight and they are getting away with murder,and a brainwashed public loves it because it wants “NOTHING KILLED”,while millions suffer, are killed and die outdoors! ALL SPAY/NEUTER HAS TO COME BEFORE NO KILL! Educate yourself,help someone get her cat fixed who is low income,become a spay/neuter fanatic,don’t be a “rescue,no kill,adoption” fanatic—it’s killing and producing millions more who will have to suffer”. Rose Bauman “THE EDUCATED CAT INC.”

  • 1747 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    I think many hoarders start off with good intentions but it just gets out of hand.

US & Canada: Sign up for Mobile!

Games, freebies, events in your area & more

Mobile #

  I agree to the full texting T&Cs. Msg and data rates may apply. Text HELP for help, text STOP to end. Up to 10 msgs/month.

Follow Us

Top Commenters

  • Profile photo of Pantherxxl12

    I'm a therian /otherkin wolf lycanthrope that sees this lifetime in this body as a punishment that the god and goddess has bestowed upon me, but I try my best to do good to all living beings except usually humans which I hate and detest with all my being.

  • Profile photo of babyhuey121795jess

    ☸ ✵ ❂ ⚘ ❀ ❃ ❁ ✼☸ ✵ ❂ ⚘ ❀ ❃ ❁ ✼☸ ✵ ❂ ⚘ ❀ ❃ My name is Jason. Top 10 quirks: 1. I’m vegetarian. 2. I’m Sagittarius 3. Artist 4. I love The Beatles 5. Love dogs! 6. Spring is my favourite season. 7. I’m an only child. 8. I knit. 9. I like to press flowers. 10. I like to shrink potato chip bags. I have a tattoo on my wrist that says peace in braille. I feel like I should've been a teen in the 60’s-70’s. I have rainbow gauges in my ears. I’m FTM transgender but only identify as a gay male. I will write to anybody! I love fast food, glass blowing, making solar sensitive paper prints, ceramics, making friendship bracelets, tie dying, decorating my room, shopping online and off (but mostly online), cuddling with my Cockapoo named Mickey,eating candy, making things, fashion, & going to the mall. I can’t cook to save my life. I enjoy Netflix, crafts, & making people laugh, I am generous and enjoy Oldies. Green is my favourite colour. I hate the colour orange. Halloween is my favourite holiday. I’m addicted to playing Kardashian on my Ipod and using Instagram. I want to travel a ton one day, learn German, drive and lifeguard, and be an elementary school art teacher. I collect international stamps, coins, postcards, Betty and Veronica Archie Comics, kawaii stuff, cameos, *stickers*, and trinkets (I pick things off the ground, I’m a klepto like that). I write in a diary everyday. I hate candy corn. I have two cactus plants. I have Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram, so HMU if you want my usernames. I believe loosely in karma, fate, kismet, déjà vu, reincarnation, dreams, destiny & fate. I love for stores: Etsy, Hot Topic, Francesca's, & Claire’s. People say I look like Brenton Thwaites. My Celeb Hotties are: Joseph Gordon-Levitt *swoon*, James Franco, Paul McCartney, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Krasinski & Josh Hutcherson (I have no idea why they all mostly start with “J” lol). But my favourite actors are Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman. · My favourite foods/restaurants are mangos, 99 Restaurant, Dominoes pizza, pickles, & Pinkberry/Froyo World. My favourite movies and TV shows are Juno, Aquamarine, The Office, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Investigation Discovery, Bojack Horseman, Detention, Crank Yankers, How To Catch a Predator, Mary and Max, Bates Motel, Bob’s Burgers, Salem, Dateline, The Killing, & Darknet. As for Horror films the scariest I’ve seen are: Vile, Quarantine, Would You Rather & Truth or Die My favourite books are The Catcher In The Rye, Penpal, It’s Kind Of a Funny Story, & Life As we Knew it. · My favourite quotes are "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "If you wait to tell someone you love them, it’s too late." -Paul McCartney "If you don’t shoot, you don’t score." "It’s all okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end." "And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make." -Paul McCartney Looking for: • Penpal • Art Pals • Package Pals • Snail Mail I send small gifts, and even surprise you when I’m thinking of you. **I ask that your age is 18-23.** No country requirements, I enjoy using stamps lol. What I expect from a pen pal is LGBTQA respect and a consistency to correspondence. But I seriously love meeting new people with different interests and writing to them.

  • Profile photo of rebekahbunny

    I'm a coffee-guzzling college kid. I love animals and just recently decided to be vegan.

  • Profile photo of dragonfly95

    I was bullied out of my old school, my only friend was my dog. Now i work with a vet and an animal rescue, ive gone vegetarian, and all i want now is for animals to be treated better.....because i know first hand how cruel and evil humans can be But i wish to find new better friend on here and maybe we can change this world for the better together, so please friend me, and talk to me!

  • Profile photo of srivera0117
  • Profile photo of stasia3419
  • Profile photo of AnimalActivist
  • Profile photo of DaughterEarth
  • Profile photo of deantate
  • Profile photo of gamontesdeoc
  • Profile photo of isar2015

    My name is Isa. I was raised around the world. I play clarinet in my school band and I play guitar for stage band and outside of school. Hablo espanol. I help everyone dealing with any issue, I am very outspoken, and I can never shut my mouth