Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Local agencies like the Kansas Humane Society receive numerous phone calls from people concerned of possible animal hoarding problems.
"We encourage them to contact their local authorities that are in their area. Animals cannot speak out for themselves. It takes private citizens to let us know what's going on, to let Wichita Animals Services know what's going on, so that we can help them," said Jennifer Campbell, director of communications.
It is the animal control authorities who respond to reports of animal hoarding.
"A lot of times the people that are involved in it, don't know really what to do. It started out innocently enough, helping take care of animals, and then it got out of hand where they aren't even able to provide minimum care," said Dennis Graves, supervisor for Wichita Animal Control.
Graves said they get periodic reports of animal hoarding. Each year, there are one or two severe cases of hoarding.
"It's always difficult when we run across them. It's a situation where we need to address it. Family members and friends are key to identifying and pointing people in the right direction," said Graves.
In 2010, Wichita Animal Control had 2,732 animal cruelty and neglect investigations. In 2011 there were 2,647 investigations. From January to May of this year, there have been 1,081 investigations.
"Sooner information is reported, when people suspect things, the faster the right people can get there to rescue the animals and to provide the help that the people need also," said Campbell.
If you suspect someone is hoarding or if you want to ask for help, call the following:
Department on Aging (60 and older) at 316-660-5144
Adult Protective Services (59 and younger) at 316-337-6791
If animal neglect or cruelty is involved, call animal control authorities in your area.
Wichita Animal Control at 316-350-3360
Sedgwick County Animal Control at 316-660-7070
For more help on hoarding, click here.