160 dogs rescued from one house – Heartbreaking story. Happy ending!

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.

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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 heartwarming. 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. 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.

FAQ

What is animal hoarding?

Animal hoarding is a compulsive behavior where a person collects and keeps large numbers of animals, often far beyond their ability to properly care for them.

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 do people 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
-Paranoia
-Delusional thinking
-Depression
-Other mental illnesses

What kind of mental disease is animal hoarding?

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.

Is animal hoarding more common in certain parts of the world?

Animal hoarding occurs in many parts of the world, but it may be more prevalent in countries where there are fewer regulations on animal ownership and care.

How can animal hoarding be prevented?

Animal hoarding can be prevented through education and outreach programs that provide information on responsible pet ownership and the dangers of hoarding. Animal welfare organizations can also work with law enforcement to identify and intervene in cases of animal hoarding.

What are some signs that someone may be hoarding animals?

Signs that someone may be hoarding animals include an overwhelming number of animals in a small space, poor hygiene and sanitation, and signs of neglect, such as malnourished or sick animals.

How can animal hoarding be addressed?

Animal hoarding can be addressed through a combination of education, outreach, and intervention. Mental health services may also be necessary to help hoarders address underlying mental health issues.

Are there any resources available for animal hoarders?

-Local animal welfare organizations: Local animal welfare organizations may provide resources such as counseling, education, and support for both the hoarder and the animals.

-Mental health services: Hoarders may benefit from mental health services, such as therapy or counseling, to address underlying mental health issues.

-Government agencies: Animal control agencies and other government agencies can investigate and intervene in cases of animal hoarding, and may offer resources to help address the situation.

-Non-profit organizations: Non-profit organizations focused on animal welfare may offer resources such as emergency animal rescue, temporary shelter for animals, and adoption services for animals removed from hoarding situations.

-Support groups: Support groups for hoarders and their families can provide a supportive community and resources to help address the underlying issues associated with animal hoarding.

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How can animal hoarding be addressed?

Animal hoarding can be addressed through a combination of education, outreach, and intervention. Mental health services may also be necessary to help hoarders address underlying mental health issues.

Can hoarded animals be rehabilitated?

In some cases, hoarded animals can be rehabilitated with proper care and socialization. However, in severe cases of neglect or abuse, the animals may need to be euthanized.

How can communities help prevent animal hoarding?

Communities can help prevent animal hoarding by supporting local animal welfare organizations, promoting responsible pet ownership, and reporting suspected cases of animal hoarding to law enforcement.

hat are the legal consequences of animal hoarding?

Animal hoarding can result in criminal charges, including animal cruelty charges, and fines or imprisonment.

an hoarders be helped?

Yes, hoarders can be helped through a combination of mental health services, education, and outreach. However, it may be difficult to convince hoarders to seek help, as they often deny that there is a problem.

What should I do if I suspect a friend or neighbor is hoarding animals

-If you suspect that your neighbor is hoarding animals, there are several steps you can take:

-Document the situation: Take photos or videos of the conditions and note the number of animals you see.

-Report the situation: Contact your local animal control agency or police department to report the situation. They can investigate and take appropriate action.

-Be prepared to provide information: Be ready to provide the address and any details you have about the situation, such as the number and types of animals involved and the conditions in which they are being kept.

-Be persistent: If you feel that your initial report is not being taken seriously, continue to follow up and provide additional information until the situation is addressed.

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