It’s Time We View Animal Hoarding As An Illness, Not A Misdemeanour

The tragic animal hoarding case in  Newark, Delaware highlights the dangers of animal hoarding:

“When officers arrived and entered the home, they smelled a pungent odor of urine, which made it difficult to breath, emanating throughout the house and observed the residence to be in deplorable conditions…

…SPCA animal control agents removed the pets – including 19 dogs, five cats, two rabbits, three quail, nine chickens and one duck

…Sandra Kelsch, 49, and her husband, Edward Kelsch, 48, were each charged with endangering the welfare of a child. They were released on $500 unsecured bail. Animal cruelty charges are pending against the couple by the Kent County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.”

I have been involved in a number of animal hoarding cases and inevitably the situation involved suspected mental illness. I am not trying to make a diagnosis from a news story article or telling the law officers how to do their job but it seems a little pointless to charge someone with animal cruely where the sanity of the person is obviously in question.

One competent psychiatrist may be of more help here then a platoon of law enforcement officers.

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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

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