Long Island senior citizen overwhelmed with a few hundred rescue pets

Long Island senior citizen overwhelmed with a few hundred rescue pets


Officials remove a few hundred animals from the home of a Long Island senior citizen on April 2, 3013.

Another animal rescue situation goes awry. A few hundred animals were found living in unsafe conditions inside a Long Island home today. The pets included dogs, cats, ferrets, chinchillas, turtles, lizards, exotic birds and rats.

As reported to NBC News 4 New York by Brookhaven town officials, the owner is a woman in her 70s who started rescuing animals and simply couldn't keep up.

The Medford Fire Department assisted by venting the home because of the poor conditions and overwhelming odor.

Officials found two cats eating a dead cat, and feces littering the home. Some of the animals weren't being fed regularly but otherwise seemed OK, officials said.

Neighbors said they knew the homeowner kept animals there, but never suspected the extent of the zoo inside.

Why people hoard animals under the guise of rescue

In an interview conducted by Psychology Today with a daughter of a previous rescue hoarder, she says hoarders come from all backgrounds. One may hoard pets as a way to feel important and needed. Some hoarders are lonely, and the animals provide an emotional connection they're unable to achieve with people. Many rescue hoarders will have enablers, just as a drug addict would; these people support their habit and buy into the stories about providing life-saving support to the animals. In reality, the animals receive a debilitating lack of care as the situation gets out of hand.

For more about today’s story, watch the accompanying video by Pei-Szi Cheng, News 4 New York.

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