The story of Richard Wallace and his attempts to deal with his extreme hoarding

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: None minutes

Premier: None

Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder - Animal hoarding - Netflix

Animal hoarding is keeping a higher-than-usual number of animals as domestic pets without ability to properly house or care for them, while at the same time denying this inability. Compulsive hoarding can be characterized as a symptom of mental disorder rather than deliberate cruelty towards animals. Hoarders are deeply attached to their pets and find it extremely difficult to let the pets go. They typically cannot comprehend that they are harming their pets by failing to provide them with proper care. Hoarders tend to believe that they provide the right amount of care for them. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provides a “Hoarding Prevention Team”, which works with hoarders to help them attain a manageable and healthy number of pets.

Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder - Hoarding Specific Municipal Ordinances - Netflix

(a) Collects animals and fails to provide them with humane/adequate care; (b) Collects dead animals that are not properly disposed of as required by this article; or (c) Collects, houses, or harbors animals in filthy, unsanitary conditions that constitute a health hazard to the animals being kept, and/or to the animals or residents of adjacent property.

If a person is convicted of being a hoarder under this ordinance, that person may not own, possess, or have on his premises in Alto any animal for one year from the date of conviction. The person may also be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 and/or by imprisonment in the common jail of the town not to exceed six months. The Animal Law Coalition has a Model Animal Hoarding Specific Ordinance (available under “Resources” at its website) that can be adapted by various communities. More controversially, a municipality may limit the number of pets a person is allowed to keep in his or her home in hopes of preventing animal hoarding. These are called pet limitation ordinances. Gary J. Patronek, in The Problem of Animal Hoarding, Municipal Lawyer 6 (2001), stated that pet limitation ordinances are “wildly unpopular, difficult to enforce, and likely to be opposed by a broad coalition of pet fanciers, breeders, rescue groups, and animal protection organizations.” While a hoarding specific ordinance, like Alto, prohibits keeping numerous animals in conditions that are harmful to the animals’ health, pet limitation ordinances simply prohibit keeping more than a certain number of animals regardless of the level of care provided to the animals. As mentioned previously in this article, the number of animals involved alone is not a determinative factor in identifying hoarding and it is possible for a person to successfully care for a large number of animals. Examples of pet limitation ordinances include: Aurora, Colorado and Banks County, Georgia. In Banks County, Georgia, the number of dogs a person can own differs based on the zone in which the person's property is located. Some pet limitation ordinances, however, provide exemptions to the pet restrictions. For instance, in Great Falls, Montana, a person who owns or harbors any more than the number of dogs and cats permitted by the ordinance for a period of more than thirty (30) days must obtain a multiple animal permit. Additionally, a breeder can be exempt from the ordinance by obtaining a Multiple Animal Hobby Breeder Permit. These exemptions are, no doubt, provided to lessen the opposition and problems of pet limitation ordinances.

While a state may not have an animal hoarding specific statute, its municipalities may have animal hoarding specific ordinances. For instance, the city of Alto, Georgia’s ordinance specifically prohibits hoarders. The ordinance defines a hoarder as a person or entity that:

Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder - References - Netflix