The Orange County Register in California reports on the case of local woman with animal hoarder syndrome:
Since August Stone has turned over 26 miniature dachshunds to the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center. The dogs were found when Orange County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a traffic accident that led them to Stone’s Mission Viejo home. There deputies found more than 70 dogs in kennels in the home and back yard. Nearly all of the dogs’ vocal cords had been cut…
…Stone – sitting on her patio near her living room packed with collectibles – started with only one litter of pups about 13 years ago as a hobby for her kids. She took in more than 20 dogs when her best friend – who raised dachshunds in Downey – died from cancer. Others who got dogs from her fell upon hard times and Stone took the dogs back. Recently another friend died – and Stone took her dogs, too.
“It gave me something to love and keep me out of my self pity,” she said.
Shelter officials and Wheaton described Stone as an animal hoarder – defined by the Humane Society of United States as a person who has more animals than he or she can properly care for.
“They think they are providing a wonderful safe haven for animals but the whole situation gets out of control,” said Wheaton. “Once you have more than 10 animals you’re verging on being a hoarder.”