Human beings are all different. They all have different tolerance thresholds & motivators.
Hoarding is a word I detest because it is a blanket label with NO basis in Mental Health care, there is no classification or designation for the term, it is not recognized in the psychiatric community as a “disorder”, merely as a symptom of other disorders.
We have a whole page dedicated to explaining it on my rescue web page, what it is & what it is not.
I am concerned about this whole thing because once it is deemed a “mental disorder” it will become a LEGAL DEFENSE… I bet no one ever figured that one out! Commercial Kennels/Puppy Mills/Dog Fighting Rings/Cock Fighting Rings will all be using the “Hoarder” defense.
Now that Ms Hamilton’s case is over I am going to talk about it. I have never talked to or met the Hamilton’s & I was so afraid that Pasado’s breaking & entering would’ve compromised the entire case, the dogs that were killed were “sacrificed” for the sake of the prosecution. No one won in all of this.
From what I can gather is that they had all of these prior show dogs & being in the show ring community is mentally taxing at best, the competition & backbiting makes rescue drama look like kindergarten.
One rumor & your career is over, your precious dogs have no more value than a pound pup & everything you’ve worked your whole life for is gone. One of the dogs fosters commented that their dogs had congenital heart defects, if that was the case they couldn’t let those dogs be adopted out & have someone find out. So why just keep them, why not put them down or quit breeding from that line?
My own personal opinion & preference is that I should NEVER have anymore dogs then I can pay attention to on an individual basis so that they maintain good mental health, & I take dogs who require more care so that limits my intake numbers.
I work with breeders for this very reason: They give them to me, & we get them adopted out & no one has any idea where they came from only that they were formerly a breeders dog. I have walked into situations with up to 125 dogs & I can only thank God that every situation I have walked into (so far) the dogs have been healthy & well fed, albeit STARVED for attention. I honest to God don’t know what I would do if I walked into a situation with the Hamilton’s Burien house, that would’ve shaken me to my very core.
But you see I am a Minister as well as a rescuer, there are always humans involved & helpless animals. I try to find the balance. If it is a situation I know can be monitored or remedied I handle it myself with help from lots of friends, but if it is a situation that I can’t safely keep an eye on, or someone who will not work with me or completely denies there is a problem then I get the authorities involved. If I feel it is a mental health issue I get them resources from the community & make myself available to them. Some of the mental health issues I have encountered do not warrant any kindness on my part, & some of these have nothing to do with mental health issues just plain selfishness & mean spiritedness.
I do have to commend the Animal Control authorities, in situations where I have had to call them in they have given the situations immediate attention & worked with the people, they monitor them & there has never been any media involved. The POS animal control officer I am having problems with is the exception, not the rule, most of the AC Officers are in it for the animals, & most also care about people & will bend over backwards to help both.
On the flip side I have a friend I go visit & she has as far as I can tell 19 dogs, all fixed, all microchipped, all healthy, well fed & they all get along great, my great grandpa always had at least 12 hound dogs, I have seen people with high numbers of animals do just fine.
I want to leave you with a lesson in humanity today, we don’t know the whole story behind the Hamilton’s situation. She took a plea deal, everything that I know about her is that she loved her animals, but the situation was awful for those dogs. If you have EVER called yourself her friend then as her friend if you had been to the Issaquah home you should’ve been concerned & talked to her about it, you should’ve offered help.
Mrs Hamilton has lost everything, her husband, her career & most of the animals. Now let it go… I got over 165 emails about this situation, some of them were snide awful emails from bitter hateful people, most of them were from other breeder/show people who were trying to explain to me how it got to that point, & how common it is. I have a far better understanding of what happened & how to help the next people. I also helped 3 other people in a similar situation so they didn’t end up on the news 1/2 way across the country.
When people work together for the good of animals & people everyone wins. When you turn things into a media circus no one wins, it only feeds the misery trolls.