January 29, 2009
Encourage legislators to take action against heartless pet hoarders
Montana, Great Falls Tribune - By CAROL BRADLEY
"…hoarders, people who somehow manage to collect hundreds of animals, house them in below-zero temperatures, ignore their wounds and broken bones, and give them food and water whenever they feel like it…. back in 2001, when an Alaskan couple driving into Montana were found with 179 cold and wet collies and 11 cats in the back of their semi.
Toole County officials courageously stepped forward and charged the couple with multiple counts of animal cruelty.
Their reward for doing the right thing: For six months Shelby residents had to operate “Camp Collie” at the fairgrounds (the dogs were moved to Great Falls for another three months before the owners were convicted and new homes could be found). Toole County spent more than $167,000, the Humane Society of the United States shelled out $250,000 and the American Working Collie Association spent tens of thousands more to care for this small army of dogs.
That was just the beginning. A couple of years later Cascade County spent more than $100,000 feeding and housing 138 dogs, 18 horses and 17 cats taken from the property of notorious hoarder Pam Polejewski. The discovery of 100 sled dogs in an old bus near Butte last year has cost the Humane Society $150,000. And last month, authorities seized 199 live dogs and two dozen dead ones from Linda Kapsa’s Shady Lane Kennels near Billings.
They’re being held at the county fairgrounds, unable to be adopted out until the case is resolved in court.
Here’s the good news: Montana’s Legislature is considering a bill that would give authorities new tools to fight these Hotel Hells.
For starters, the proposed law would recognize companion animal hoarding as a form of animal cruelty. And it would provide that, in addition to being fined, a convicted hoarder may be required to undergo a psychological evaluation and/or treatment.
That’s because, even though hoarders lack the time, ability and means to provide minimal care for their animals, they are in complete denial. They defend their practices even as dead and dying animals lie strewn about their property.
Do we really want to sentence nutty old ladies to prison for having a houseful of cats? Of course not.
Montana’s jails are too crowded as it is. But giving hoarders a suspended sentence would authorize officials to inspect their property to make certain they aren’t cranking up operations again. That’s the truly awful thing about these Hotel Hells. The minute nobody’s looking, they’re back in business. Hoarders have a recidivism rate of nearly 100 percent.
This marks the fourth time a hoarding bill has been introduced in Helena. Last time around, the House passed the bill by 68 votes, but it died in the Senate Judiciary Committee. This time it has broad-based support, not just among animal welfare supporters. Sheriffs and prosecutors who’ve had to grapple with hoarders’ handiwork have signed on, too.
Still, let’s not take any chances. Take a moment today to call the state Capitol at 406- 444-4800 and ask members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote yes on Senate Bill 221 with amendments…”  More

Encourage legislators to take action against heartless pet hoarders

Montana, Great Falls Tribune - By CAROL BRADLEY

"…hoarders, people who somehow manage to collect hundreds of animals, house them in below-zero temperatures, ignore their wounds and broken bones, and give them food and water whenever they feel like it…. back in 2001, when an Alaskan couple driving into Montana were found with 179 cold and wet collies and 11 cats in the back of their semi.

Toole County officials courageously stepped forward and charged the couple with multiple counts of animal cruelty.

Their reward for doing the right thing: For six months Shelby residents had to operate “Camp Collie” at the fairgrounds (the dogs were moved to Great Falls for another three months before the owners were convicted and new homes could be found). Toole County spent more than $167,000, the Humane Society of the United States shelled out $250,000 and the American Working Collie Association spent tens of thousands more to care for this small army of dogs.

That was just the beginning. A couple of years later Cascade County spent more than $100,000 feeding and housing 138 dogs, 18 horses and 17 cats taken from the property of notorious hoarder Pam Polejewski. The discovery of 100 sled dogs in an old bus near Butte last year has cost the Humane Society $150,000. And last month, authorities seized 199 live dogs and two dozen dead ones from Linda Kapsa’s Shady Lane Kennels near Billings.

They’re being held at the county fairgrounds, unable to be adopted out until the case is resolved in court.

Here’s the good news: Montana’s Legislature is considering a bill that would give authorities new tools to fight these Hotel Hells.

For starters, the proposed law would recognize companion animal hoarding as a form of animal cruelty. And it would provide that, in addition to being fined, a convicted hoarder may be required to undergo a psychological evaluation and/or treatment.

That’s because, even though hoarders lack the time, ability and means to provide minimal care for their animals, they are in complete denial. They defend their practices even as dead and dying animals lie strewn about their property.

Do we really want to sentence nutty old ladies to prison for having a houseful of cats? Of course not.

Montana’s jails are too crowded as it is. But giving hoarders a suspended sentence would authorize officials to inspect their property to make certain they aren’t cranking up operations again. That’s the truly awful thing about these Hotel Hells. The minute nobody’s looking, they’re back in business. Hoarders have a recidivism rate of nearly 100 percent.

This marks the fourth time a hoarding bill has been introduced in Helena. Last time around, the House passed the bill by 68 votes, but it died in the Senate Judiciary Committee. This time it has broad-based support, not just among animal welfare supporters. Sheriffs and prosecutors who’ve had to grapple with hoarders’ handiwork have signed on, too.

Still, let’s not take any chances. Take a moment today to call the state Capitol at 406- 444-4800 and ask members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote yes on Senate Bill 221 with amendments…”  More

January 28, 2009
HELP FOR COMPULSIVE HOARDERS
"…Compulsive hoarding is a very serious problem affecting millions of Americans and their friends and families. But little is known about this disorder, and too often hoarders are misunderstood and can’t find the help they need.
A major cable network is casting for a groundbreaking new documentary television series that will help shed much needed light on this complicated and underreported condition…”
More

HELP FOR COMPULSIVE HOARDERS

"…Compulsive hoarding is a very serious problem affecting millions of Americans and their friends and families. But little is known about this disorder, and too often hoarders are misunderstood and can’t find the help they need.

A major cable network is casting for a groundbreaking new documentary television series that will help shed much needed light on this complicated and underreported condition…”

More

January 27, 2009
Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding
by David F. Tolin (Author), Randy O. Frost (Author), Gail Steketee (Author)
Buried in Treasures outlines a scientifically-based and effective program for helping compulsive hoarders dig their way out of the clutter and chaos of their homes.Discover the reasons for your problems with acquiring, saving, and hoarding, and learn new ways of thinking about your possessions so you can accurately identify those things you really need and those you can do without. Learn to recognize the “bad guys” that maintain your hoarding behavior and meet the “good guys” who will motivate you and put you on the path to change.Features of this book include:-Self-assessments to determine the severity of the problem-Tips and tools for organizing your possessions and filing your paperwork-Strategies for changing unhelpful beliefs about your possessions-Behavioral experiments to reduce your fear of anxiety and fear of discarding.
More

Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding

by David F. Tolin (Author), Randy O. Frost (Author), Gail Steketee (Author)

Buried in Treasures outlines a scientifically-based and effective program for helping compulsive hoarders dig their way out of the clutter and chaos of their homes.
Discover the reasons for your problems with acquiring, saving, and hoarding, and learn new ways of thinking about your possessions so you can accurately identify those things you really need and those you can do without. Learn to recognize the “bad guys” that maintain your hoarding behavior and meet the “good guys” who will motivate you and put you on the path to change.
Features of this book include:
-Self-assessments to determine the severity of the problem
-Tips and tools for organizing your possessions and filing your paperwork
-Strategies for changing unhelpful beliefs about your possessions
-Behavioral experiments to reduce your fear of anxiety and fear of discarding.

More

January 26, 2009

Van Zandt County man arrested after 185 animals found living in squalor

By JOANNA CATTANACH / The Dallas Morning News
"…Richard Anthony Delfeld Jr. was arrested on suspicion of felony injury to a disabled person…the man was arrested Sunday at a rural Van Zandt County property where 185 animals were living in squalid conditions with no food or water…Authorities, who were called out for a welfare check on Saturday, also found dozens of dead animals on the property and the man’s 63-year-old uncle living in a mobile home in "horrific" conditions with no food or electricity…
…At least 50 goats and sheep, 41 dogs, 30 chickens, 18 ducks and geese, seven rabbits, three turkeys, two cats and one alpaca were found alive at the home Sunday…About 75 animals, including 30 rabbits and 27 goats, were found dead on the property…The sheriff’s deputy said animal bones and carcasses were all over the property, some covered with tarps or pieces of metal…”It was almost like a pet cemetery,” Allen said…” 
 More

Van Zandt County man arrested after 185 animals found living in squalor

By JOANNA CATTANACH / The Dallas Morning News

"…Richard Anthony Delfeld Jr. was arrested on suspicion of felony injury to a disabled person…the man was arrested Sunday at a rural Van Zandt County property where 185 animals were living in squalid conditions with no food or water…Authorities, who were called out for a welfare check on Saturday, also found dozens of dead animals on the property and the man’s 63-year-old uncle living in a mobile home in "horrific" conditions with no food or electricity…

…At least 50 goats and sheep, 41 dogs, 30 chickens, 18 ducks and geese, seven rabbits, three turkeys, two cats and one alpaca were found alive at the home Sunday…About 75 animals, including 30 rabbits and 27 goats, were found dead on the property…The sheriff’s deputy said animal bones and carcasses were all over the property, some covered with tarps or pieces of metal…”It was almost like a pet cemetery,” Allen said…” 

 More

January 25, 2009

ANIMAL HOARDING IN MONTANA

"…Senate Bill 221 would revise the laws in Montana relating to the issue of hoarding. If passed, the bill would provide the courts and law enforcement with more tools to address and prosecute animal hoarding cases. Bill proponents aim to increase accountability for hoarders by enhancing their punishments and focusing on providing them with sufficient treatment for their mental illness…"  More

January 24, 2009
Cat Lady Gets 90 Days On Animal Cruelty Charges
"…Health officials said they found 124 cats in Ogden’s home. They said 71 of them were dead and stuffed into garbage bags….Ogden & Hunt were ordered to undergo counseling for what Clark County officials have called the worst animal cruelty case they have ever seen…"  More

Cat Lady Gets 90 Days On Animal Cruelty Charges

"…Health officials said they found 124 cats in Ogden’s home. They said 71 of them were dead and stuffed into garbage bags….Ogden & Hunt were ordered to undergo counseling for what Clark County officials have called the worst animal cruelty case they have ever seen…"  More

Animal abuse probe nets scores of live, dead pets
Valley News: By Tim O’Leary,  Temecula, CA  
"…Reports later surfaced that investigators had found more than 200 dead dogs, puppies, cats and kittens in bags, cans and other containers in sheds and elsewhere on the property….Dozens of other dogs and cats – which had seemingly reverted to a feral state – had to be euthanized because they were deemed to be too ill, malnourished or aggressive to recover or place in homes. Some of the surviving animals are expected to live and could eventually be offered for adoption…Mr. Elisao Jiminez, the owner of the animals was placed under arrest for animal cruelty. Six Humane and Animal Control Officers of Animal Friends of the Valleys along with 4 other employees were at the location for over 12 hours, capturing animals. The conditions these animals lived in were horrific says Willa Bagwell, Executive Director, State Humane Officer. “It is one of the worse cases of abuse that I have witnessed in 21 years”. I have never been in a place where cannibalism was present.  More

Animal abuse probe nets scores of live, dead pets

Valley News: By Tim O’Leary,  Temecula, CA  

"…Reports later surfaced that investigators had found more than 200 dead dogs, puppies, cats and kittens in bags, cans and other containers in sheds and elsewhere on the property….Dozens of other dogs and cats – which had seemingly reverted to a feral state – had to be euthanized because they were deemed to be too ill, malnourished or aggressive to recover or place in homes. Some of the surviving animals are expected to live and could eventually be offered for adoption…Mr. Elisao Jiminez, the owner of the animals was placed under arrest for animal cruelty. Six Humane and Animal Control Officers of Animal Friends of the Valleys along with 4 other employees were at the location for over 12 hours, capturing animals. The conditions these animals lived in were horrific says Willa Bagwell, Executive Director, State Humane Officer. “It is one of the worse cases of abuse that I have witnessed in 21 years”. I have never been in a place where cannibalism was present.  More

January 22, 2009
Squalor Survivors 
"…In the Squalor section we have a scale for assessing the seriousness of a squalor problem, and information on hoarding. The Stories section contains the real-life experiences of people who lived in squalor (some are now free of squalor, some are still on the journey.) The Photos section documents the transformation of house in varying degrees of squalor to no squalor at all. The Overcoming section provides techniques and tools for freeing both yourself and your house from the prison of squalor. The Community consists of a Forum and Chat room where you can communicate with people who know what living in squalor is like, where you can drop the mask and be yourself. Recommended organizing books, articles and web sites are in the Resources section, the Junk drawer (none of which is actual junk) contains creative works by past and present members, and finally, the It’s not me page is for people who do not have a squalor problem themselves, but know someone who does…”  More

Squalor Survivors

"…In the Squalor section we have a scale for assessing the seriousness of a squalor problem, and information on hoarding. The Stories section contains the real-life experiences of people who lived in squalor (some are now free of squalor, some are still on the journey.) The Photos section documents the transformation of house in varying degrees of squalor to no squalor at all. The Overcoming section provides techniques and tools for freeing both yourself and your house from the prison of squalor. The Community consists of a Forum and Chat room where you can communicate with people who know what living in squalor is like, where you can drop the mask and be yourself. Recommended organizing books, articles and web sites are in the Resources section, the Junk drawer (none of which is actual junk) contains creative works by past and present members, and finally, the It’s not me page is for people who do not have a squalor problem themselves, but know someone who does…”  More

The Obsessive Compulsive Foundation:  Compulsive Hoarding Website
By Robert Frost PhD and Gail Steketee, PhD  
"…This website is designed to provide information and assistance in a comprehensive and efficient way. It is divided into several sections. It covers the definition of hoarding, professional articles on multiple aspects of hoarding, a Research Digest for hoarding related scientific papers, self help and support group articles, a hoarding/compulsive buying screening test, and useful information about this medical disorder…"  More

The Obsessive Compulsive Foundation:  Compulsive Hoarding Website

By Robert Frost PhD and Gail Steketee, PhD  

"…This website is designed to provide information and assistance in a comprehensive and efficient way. It is divided into several sections. It covers the definition of hoarding, professional articles on multiple aspects of hoarding, a Research Digest for hoarding related scientific papers, self help and support group articles, a hoarding/compulsive buying screening test, and useful information about this medical disorder…"  More

January 21, 2009
Inside Animal Hoarding:  The Story of Barbara Erickson and Her 552 Dogs
By Dr. Arnold Arluke & Celeste Killeen
"…Inside Animal Hoarding profiles one of the largest and most intriguing cases of animal hoarding in recent history. Celeste Killeen’s investigation pries open the door to Barbara Erickson’s hidden and closely guarded life, offering an in-depth view of animal hoarding.
The chaos and torment discovered by local officials who’d responded to a ramshackle farmhouse in eastern Oregon was described as otherworldly, unbelievable. But, it was only the sad ending to a lifelong story of betrayal, abuse and abandonment. This in-depth look at how animal hoarding developed in one woman’s life offers the rich detail and context so important in understanding how to recognize and respond to it and maybe even prevent it.
Dr. Arnold Arluke’s discussion follows the Erickson story with current research on animal hoarding and how it ties into the Erickson case… More

Inside Animal Hoarding
The Story of Barbara Erickson and Her 552 Dogs

By Dr. Arnold Arluke & Celeste Killeen

"…Inside Animal Hoarding profiles one of the largest and most intriguing cases of animal hoarding in recent history. Celeste Killeen’s investigation pries open the door to Barbara Erickson’s hidden and closely guarded life, offering an in-depth view of animal hoarding.

The chaos and torment discovered by local officials who’d responded to a ramshackle farmhouse in eastern Oregon was described as otherworldly, unbelievable. But, it was only the sad ending to a lifelong story of betrayal, abuse and abandonment. This in-depth look at how animal hoarding developed in one woman’s life offers the rich detail and context so important in understanding how to recognize and respond to it and maybe even prevent it.

Dr. Arnold Arluke’s discussion follows the Erickson story with current research on animal hoarding and how it ties into the Erickson case… More

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