I took a class in the legal aspects of hoarding. Part of the class was about animal hoarding. I was shocked and sad to learn that only two states have laws dealing with this horrible situation.
I also learned that hoarders are responsible for the cause of more suffering, and death among animals then actual animal abusers. Heartbreaking!!
Illinois has the Humane Care for Animals Act. Governor Ryan signed it in 2001. A person that cannot provide for a large number of animals (food, health care, clean conditions, and protection) can be convicted of a class 4 felony.
Hawaii actually has a law to outlaw animal hoarding. In 2008, Hawaii passed Bill 3203, making animal hoarding a misdemeanor. You are not allowed to own more than 15 animals(cats, dogs, or a combination of both). The flaw with this law is that it doesn't mandate psychological counseling or prohibit people from future animal ownership.
I have never worked with an animal hoarder. As an animal lover and owner, I don't think I could handle it. I have worked in plenty of homes which have been hoarded that have owned animals. It breaks my heart to see them in those conditions. One cat used to sit on my lap everytime I was working with it's owner. How I wanted to take him home with me. At another job, the litter box was never changed, so the cats chose to use the bathroom in the corners of the basement. I was literally shoveling shovels full of feces in the trash. I also pulled up the carpet.
While animals provide us with unconditional love, they also need our love and care. They need to be taken care of, properly fed, and socialized. Both my crazy cats are rescues. Tyler, came to me 9 years ago from an older lady who could no longer take care of him. She was too ill. He obviously had been table fed(I never met a cat that begs for asparagus). He drives me crazy with his gourmet palet and begging for food, but I am happy he likes my cooking!
I personally think every state should have stricter laws to protect animals!!
While most of these people start out with the best of intentions, to give an animal a home, they end up not being able to take care of their needs. By the time alot of these animals are rescued, its too late. They are already too sick to be saved.