For the past few weeks, Animal Planet has run a compelling series on the psychological disorder of animal hoarding, which is a cause of enormous suffering for dogs, cats, and other animals. There's typically no malice here -- just a distorted reality and an inability to recognize that the situation for the animals at home has skidded off the tracks.
It seems we at The Humane Society of the United States are responding to more hoarding cases than ever. Last Thursday, the Park County Prosecutor's Office and the local sheriff's department called The HSUS to help with a case involving 150 cats in a home.
Cats were everywhere -- living in couches, above the ceiling, outside of the home, and in practically every other nook and cranny of the residence. Our team found several pregnant cats and litters of newborn kittens in deplorable conditions. Many had upper respiratory infections, ear mites, tumors, and emaciation. They'd obviously been languishing at this residence for some time.
The local volunteers who helped with this operation deserve special thanks, as does PetSmart Charities for donating much-needed sheltering supplies. Now safely removed, all of the cats have received thorough veterinary checks and medical treatment. Soon we'll transport them to rescue groups, on their way to new, adoptive homes.
Our hands-on work is difficult and costly, but we are committed to it -- whether it involves hoarding cases, puppy mills, dogfighting or cockfighting operations, or any other circumstance involving large numbers of animals in distress.
To do this work, we need your help -- on the investigations side and also the actual response. The needs are immense. Already this week we're on our way to rescue more animals from another major case of cruelty and neglect. I hope to share those details in the coming days.A Humane Nation.
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