No Easy Solutions for Animal Hoarding

Spotting an animal hoarder from a crowd of other pet owners isn’t easy – neither is defining the problem.

According to Becky Johnson, animal control officer for the Jamestown Police Department and co-founder of Prairie Paws Rescue, animal hoarding could be anything from four or five animals to 40. Last month, Prairie Paws rescued more than 28 dogs that were mostly dachshunds from an animal hoarder in New Rockford, N.D. The worst part is that the organization had already rescued several dozens of dogs from that same hoarder in the past.

Hoarding itself may be just one symptom of a greater mental health issue, such as depression, said Russ Sunderland, assistant director of the South Central Human Service Center in Jamestown.

Dogs aren’t the only animals that are hoarded – cats, bunnies, and other species have also been found in many hoarders’ homes.

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