Written by Paula Moore
attended an estate sale at a house that had belonged to a hoarder.
I've been going
to estate sales for years and have seen all manner of houses, but nothing could
have prepared me for the chaos within this one. Boxes stuffed with papers,
photographs, magazines, and old clothes were precariously stacked throughout
the home, covering almost every single surface.
There were boxes
on the beds, in the bathtubs, in the hallways, and on every piece of furniture.
Many rooms had a small pathway amid the clutter, barely wide enough for one
person to navigate. Frequently, someone would inadvertently send something
crashing down. Some rooms were completely impassable.
Now imagine that
those boxes were cages and crates stacked one on top of another, each
containing a miserable, sick animal, and that the surfaces were covered not
with clutter but with feces and urine. This is the reality when people hoard
animals, often under the delusion that they're "saving" them—and the
consequences are devastating.
PETA has investigated numerous
animal-hoarding cases over the years and, time and again, has found animals warehoused in deplorable
conditions. The investigators have seen cats kept in impossible-to-sanitize
wooden sheds and dilapidated, moldy trailers that reeked of ammonia, their living areas strewn with vomit,
trash, and waste. They've seen paralyzed animals forced to drag themselves around until they
developed bloody ulcers. They've seen suffering animals deprived of veterinary care—including
some plagued with seizures, diabetes, and wounds infected down to the bone.
is bad enough. But when animals are involved, intervention is vital. A majority
of animal-hoarding cases—at least 57 percent, according to one study—are
brought to authorities' attention by concerned neighbors.
If you suspect that animals are being neglected or
abused by their caretakers, even those who appear well intentioned, please be a
"nosy neighbor" and alert authorities immediately.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.