Signs of animal hoarding

Published 7:08 pm Friday, July 13, 2018

There have been three large animal hoarding cases in Hogansville in the last eight months, with around 100 animals rescued in all from three different residences.

All of the cases involved different factors, including numerous types of animals, but all three were designated as animal hoarding investigations.

The first occurred in November, when approximately 20 animals were rescued from a house on Jim Drive. The animals included cats, dogs, ferrets, a parrot and rabbits and conditions were so bad that rescuers were getting sick while going in and out of the house.

Earlier this month, nearly 50 total dogs and cats were removed from a residence on Whaley Street.

The house was not in deplorable condition, but it was unsanitary due to the number of animals, according to the Hogansville Police Department.

Thursday’s case on Church Street might’ve been the worst of all, according to officers with the Hogansville Police Department who worked several of the incidents. More than 20 dogs were rescued from the house and several more were likely still inside in areas that rescuers couldn’t reach. The rescue efforts continued to get those animals out of the house.

Hogansville Police Chief Brian Harr said people have likely seen the other cases and are coming forward when they see something, instead of staying quiet.

“People live beside this and in the past maybe didn’t feel comfortable making the phone call,” Harr said Thursday. “Now, they are making the phone call knowing that we can get something done.”

That’s what needs to happen in these incidents to ensure the safety of the animals, and to see if there’s something else going on at the residence as well.

Hogansville has had several large cases in the last year, but it’s important to remember that animals are hoarded everywhere. The Animal Legal Defense Fund estimates that up to 250,000 animals per year are victims of hoarders.

The ALDF has several tips on its website on how to spot a hoarder, including seeing an abnormally large number of animals; failing to provide minimal nutrition, vet care of sanitation; failure to recognize the impact of neglect; and a person unable to stop themselves from this type of behavior.

As with all crime, the biggest thing to remember is, if you see something that seems off, say something.