Ban and Help Reduce Animal Hoarding

Ban and Help Reduce Animal Hoarding

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Bonu Juraeva started this petition to State Senator Richard L. Saslaw

Animal abuse in the form of animal hoarding is an issue that faces our community. An animal hoarder is someone who has an excessive amount of pets and fails to provide them with proper care. This compulsive behavior starts when the person wants to care for the pets they’ve taken in, but their mental state gets in the way. The individual is unable to give minimal standards of sanitation, nutrition, shelter, and veterinary care. This type of animal neglect often leads the animals to starvation, illness, and even death. Animal hoarders can also tend to pose as rescue groups or shelters with complete non-profit status. They try to appear as sensible people who merely want to take in the animal and treat it as best as they can. A way to know if a rescue group involves an animal hoarder is if they are unwilling to let you see where the animals will be kept, or if the group will not disclose the number of animals in its care. It is likely that up to a quarter-million animals – 250,000 per year – are victims of hoarders. Recently, the number of reported hoarding cases has steadily increased.

The impact animal hoarding has on the community is  bigger than one would assume. Not only is horrendous animal cruelty involved with this problem, but animal hoarding also creates such an awfully unsanitary environment. There is usually cluttered disarray of animal feces and urine around the house. Once animal waste starts building up, the accumulated waste can produce high levels of ammonia that can burn the eyes, lungs, and even skin. Additionally, this can impact the animal hoarder’s loved ones. The animal hoarder’s family will be concerned for not only the hoarder, but for the animals, too. Something that many people are unaware of is that a single hoarding case can effortlessly bankrupt a local humane society or shelter. Countless animals from hoarding houses come to shelters in poor conditions. These conditions can range from fleas to broken bones, and are expensive to treat. Even basic requirements for these animals come costly (such as food and water).

The government can do a few things to address this issue. While there are laws in Virginia requiring all pet-owners to give their animals proper care, it does not directly address animal hoarding. If there was a law to ban animal hoarding, it would occur much less frequently. If accused of animal hoarding, there would be financial consequences and possible jail time. A second action which can improve this crisis is prohibiting the animal hoarder from acquiring any more animals, and potentially giving them counseling (if needed). Animal hoarding has a psychological aspect behind it. It connects with mental illness, and just like every mental illness, it is only fair for the person to get counseling for their problem. Statistics have shown that recidivism rates for animal hoarders are almost at 100%. The therapy would be funded by the government as a small, state tax. The hoarder will be barred from owning/possessing any animals in the future. Their rights to all of their animal victims should be forfeited upon conviction.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!