Thanks to everyone for the outpouring of love and support for Blossom and for those of you who applied to adopt her. Blossom was adopted but a wonderful person, we couldn’t be happier! yay happy dance. You can check out her entire journey in the videos above.
Blossom was victim of a crime called Animal hoarding. We’ve all seen the reality shows about people hoarding stuff; when they buy or collect so many things that it becomes a hazard to live in the home.
Well, some people hoard dogs. In Blossom’s case she was living in a house with 160 other dogs, yes, 160!
When many dogs live in one home and the person can’t sustain all of those dogs, it becomes dangerous and unsanitary for the human and the dogs. Usually the human has good intentions by taking strays off the street, but then the dogs begin to breed, and before you know it, you have 160 dogs.
It’s estimated that 5,000 new cases of animal hoarding are reported each year in the U.S. alone, that’s 250,000 animals living in a hoarding situation each year. (1)
On March 27, 2018 about 160 dogs were removed from a home near Bakersfield, CA and the resident was charged with animal cruelty. The 160 dogs were taken to three Kern County Animal Shelters.
That’s where I come in… I wanted to do something to help so I teamed up with Zach Skow from Marley’s Mutts and we went to the animal shelter to get these dogs into foster care. I decided to foster Blossom.
But her name wasn’t Blossom when we found her. In fact, she didn’t have a name which just broke my heart. So we asked our Dog’s Day Out community what name they thought best suited her and put it up for a vote. Blossom was the winner and she’s been Blossoming ever since. (by the way, if you’d like to join us in our Dog’s Day Out Facebook Group we’d love to have you. Join here: http://bit.ly/Dogs-Day-Out-Group)
Many dogs that are victim to animal hoarding may be very shy, reserved and don’t want to be touched or picked up. This is true for Blossom. She rarely wags her tail, she prefers to hide under the table, she doesn’t get excited about treats or food. So it’s been a long journey bringing her out of her shell.
But every once in a while, we see a little glimmer of something; curiosity, a smile, a partial tail wag. With Blossom it’s all about the small things, tiny moments, flickers of hope. For Blossom, those are major moments and deserve celebration.
Just the other day, almost 2 months after getting Blossom, she smiled. It was absolutely heart warming. Follow us as we patiently go on a quiet journey to watch this sweet, timid and shy girl blossom into who she was destined to be.
Many people have asked what the box-like unit around Blossom’s neck is (see photo above). It’s a GPS tracker, so we know where she is at any given time just by looking at an app on our cell phone.
At first Blossom was escaping whenever she could, so we reached out to the company who makes the best GPS trackers (Whistle) to get one for Blossom so we could easily find her. Not only did they donate one, but they were so moved by her story, they are donating 20% of the sale of every unit to Marley’s Mutts. (Marley’s Mutts is the rescue group who orchestrated getting 160 dogs from the animal hoarding situation into foster care). In addition, if you use this promo code “BLOSSOM” you will get $25 off a unit.
If you’d like to keep your pet safe, and support Blossom, click here to buy a Whistle GPS tracker, and use the code BLOSSOM at checkout.
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About Animal Hoarding
How does animal hoarding affect dogs?
If you want to learn more Best Friends along with the University of Pennsylvania did a research study and resulting articles that go over
- Psychological and behavioral characteristics of rescued hoarded dogs
- Rehabilitation and treatment methods for rescued hoarded dogs
- Outlook for recovery and long-term well-being
What is Animal Hoarding?
According to Tufts University, the definition of animal hoarding is:
- Having more than the typical number of companion animals.
- Failing to provide even minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter, and veterinary care, with this neglect often resulting in illness and death from starvation, spread of infectious disease, and untreated injury or medical condition.
- Denial of the inability to provide this minimum care and the impact of that failure on the animals, the household, and human occupants of the dwelling.
- Persistence, despite this failure, in accumulating and controlling animals.
Why would someone hoard animals?
According to the ASPCA it is not clearly understood why people become animal hoarders. Early research pointed toward a variant of obsessive-compulsive disorders, but newer studies and theories lead toward:
- Attachment disorders in conjunction with personality disorders
- Delusional thinking
- Other mental illnesses
A new study suggests the motivations and complexities behind animal hoarding are different enough from other kinds of hoarding that it ought to be classified as a wholly different type of mental disorder. Read more about that in Science Mag.
Some animal hoarders began collecting after a traumatic event or loss, while others see themselves as “rescuers” who save animals from lives on the street.
- 1Patronek G. 2008. Animal hoarding: A third dimension of animal abuse. In: Ascione FR (Ed.), The International Handbook of Animal Abuse and Cruelty: Theory, Research, and Application. Purdue University Press, West Lafayette, Indiana, pp. 221-246.
Rocky Kanaka is an Emmy Nominated TV host for the Netflix show Save Our Shelter, entrepreneur and Pet Rescue Advocate. Rocky started working with pets over a decade ago when his passion for healthy foods carried over to his pets. As a pet chef Rocky’s business The Dog Bakery ships healthy fresh baked dog cakes and treats nationwide. When Rocky is not traveling the nation helping homeless pets you can often find him in one of his Los Angeles bakeries working on new recipes your dog is sure to love.
Rocky spends a large amount of his time focusing on philanthropy. Rocky can currently be seen on The CW’s Hidden Heroes, Netflix’s Save Our Shelter and on his new YouTube series DOGS DAY OUT.