Nearly 200 Neglected Dogs Rescued from California Hoarder

A San Bernadino County, California, animal hoarder lost 191 dogs in a raid by animal control officials, and the animals are now up for adoption. ABC News reports that the dogs were kept in a condemned building in the desert, and authorities are now trying to find the owner. They called it one of the largest animal hoarding cases ever discovered in the county.

According to San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control chief Brian Cronin, "We have everything from Weimaraners, to Cocker Spaniels, to Chihuahuas, to Pomeranians, to Mastiffs, you name it." The dogs are reported to be in bad shape, but only one had to be euthanized. They'll be held as evidence until authorities find the person behind the abuse and build a case. Once the legal wrangling is over, they'll be put up for adoption to new homes that can provide proper care.

An Emotional Disorder

Animal hoarding is a horrifying crime since it typically involves the abuse of dogs and cats, but most hoarders don't do it willfully. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, it's a disorder on a par with object hoarding, with nearly 40 percent of object hoarders also collecting animals. The internet gives them an easy way to find unwanted pets and add them to their menageries. They develop intense emotional attachments to the animals and are unable to let them ago, even when they're unable to care for them properly.

The ADAA says that authorities deal with around 3,500 animal hoarding cases every year, affecting a quarter of a million animals. Eighty percent of hoarders have dead or dying animals among their collections.

The International OCD Foundation says that hoarding is sometimes linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. You can find more information on OCD in this article.

Animal hoarding is difficult to treat because those who engage it it usually won't admit there's a problem. The ADAA says that those who do can benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy, which you can learn more about in this piece. Severe cases might need the intervention of local animal control authorities.