The Missaroo and I have been watching a lot of Animal Planet shows lately. I think it's to gear her up for pet hotel next week ((she gets a TV in her room that is always on Animal Planet)). One of the shows I just can't help but watch is "Confessions: Animal Hoarding." These people are actually nothing like I expected.
I have seen two cases of animal hoarding, both right here in Washington. The first was a horrific case of animal abuse in the TC. I won't go into the details but it was a massive effort and it was all triggered when my dear friend and fellow dog mom Molly got involved. She really saved those animals while everyone else pretended like it wasn't happening or like there were just too many dogs in need of help so there wasn't anything one shelter could do about it. Molly didn't buy it and thanks to her, she saved those dogs. Unfortunately, I was one of those people who thought there wasn't anything we could do about it. Boy did I learn my lesson! Once again, Molly inspired me to save lives. She is the reason I have the Missaroo.
What I'm most surprised about when watching the show is how much these people love the animals. They have a slew of problems, each one usually different. But the reason for getting the animals in the first place is often for some of the same reasons I have the Missaroo. Almost all of them say they didn't want to see the animals killed, and everyone says they were lonely. Wow! Two very good reasons in my book to adopt, but these people often suffer from problems greater than what one companion can fix, so they continue to adopt, rescue, and not spay or neuter the animals. It soon becomes out of control and is unhealthy both for them and their pets.
I am always thrilled with the happy ending episodes where one or both people featured give the majority of the animals to the Humane Society. It doesn't always happen this way though. Sometimes I can't even watch the whole thing. Missaroo and I end up going for a walk in the middle of it or drive to the pet store. I often joke to her, well I don't ever have to worry about becoming a hoarder, not with the Missaroo around, she wouldn't stand for it.
If there is one thing I've learned in my journey as a dog mom it's bystanders are just as guilty. It is the same as moms who stand by while other kids in their children's class are bullied to death. We can't stand by and pretend like nothing is happening. We can't pretend that animal hoarding is OK just like we can't pretend that kill shelters are doing the right thing. I really do hate to turn this blog into any kind of soap box, but this is life or death. I'm not trying to change your political or religious views really, I'm trying to draw a clear line between right and wrong. I am so, so guilty of this; Being a bystander. I did it in the Tri-Cities, but I will never do it again. Molly showed me the power of a single, loud voice. She literally saved HUNDREDS of dogs just by speaking up, saying this isn't right and making endless calls until someone picked up the phone and listened. Not all of us can be like her, I understand that, but none of us should stand by and do nothing.