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Heartbreaking hoard of hoarders

Posted by Joseph Dussault  March 11, 2014 11:55 AM

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One of the state's worst cases of animal hoarding surfaced yesterday when Lynnfield police announced they had found nearly 200 animals in a single-family Lynnfield home. This came only a month after the MSPCA rescued 65 birds from a home in Lawrence.

The impulsive collecting of objects, a common issue in the US, seems to fascinate people noted by the success of shows like A&E's "Hoarders." Although some hoarders intend to provide real care for their animals, they quickly become so overwhelmed that proper care is impossible. When hoarders are caught, shelters can become overcrowded with hundreds of animals at once.

But hang on, animal lovers. There's a little bit of hope at the end. Here are some harrowing stories of hoarding some with happy endings.

Humane officers removed 116 animals cats and dogs with matted fur from a home in Bedminster, Pa. last year.

A Colorado woman was charged in November, not only for hoarding over 50 animals, but also for child abuse.

Hoarding often involves household pets, but can also affect livestock and other farm animals.

Because hoarded animals are surrendered in large numbers, it can be difficult for shelters to find homes for every animal.

In a particularly shocking case, over 300 animals were found at an Iowa home last month.

Still, many hoarded animals are eventually rehabilitated and eventually adopted as a result of efforts by shelters and humane societies. These organizations often have local branches that encourage would-be pet owners to adopt, rather than buy.

Reach me at joseph.dussault@globe.com. Follow me @josephdussault

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