Pinal County Animal Care & Control removed nearly 100 dogs and exotic birds from a home in Maricopa on Tuesday in a case of "extreme animal hoarding," reports azfamily.com.
Two people apparently lived in the contaminated home, which was reportedly covered in garbage and several inches of fecal manner, according to Animal Control.
"We worked this incident in fear for our own health," Kaye Dickson told azfamily.com. "I cannot fathom how the two adult residents were able to live there."
The animals were reportedly voluntarily surrendered to authorities, but the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelter is exceeding capacity and working under emergency conditions, according to Dickson.
Animal hoarding is a serious condition that can have legal consequences if taken too far. Animal hoarders are defined as people who accumulate large numbers of animals but fail to provide minimal standards of care for their health because they cannot recognize the negative effects of their hoarding behavior.
Animal hoarding is generally prosecuted under misdemeanor animal cruelty statutes and penalties can include fines, animal forfeiture and jail time. Convicted hoarders may also be banned or limited from having future pets.
Since 1997, Arizona has reportedly had 36 reported cases of hoarding, according to azfamily.com. This most recent case of animal hoarding, however, may arguably be one of the most extreme cases yet.
If you believe you or someone you know may have a problem with animal hoarding, see our Related Resources section for more information on animal rights and hoarding. There are resources available to help with the problem before it becomes a serious legal or health issue.
- Find a Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- Arizona Hoarding Task Force Sees a Rise in Inquiries (The Arizona Republic)
- Animal Rights (FindLaw's LawBrain)