The following are examples of animal abuse or neglect. Always contact the Animal Cruelty Task Force when in doubt to be safe.
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§ Animal hoarding arises when individuals house more animals than they can sufficiently care for. Animal hoarding is a complex matter that involves mental health, animal welfare, and public safety. Animal hoarding is defined by an individual’s inability to provide minimal nutrition, sanitation, shelter, and veterinary care standards. The lack of adequate care often results in animal starvation, illness, and death. In most cases, animal hoarders are in denial that they are hurting their pets they instead believe they are helping their animals. Possible indicators of animal hoarding may include the following:
· They have several animals.
· The pet owner’s home has deteriorated (i.e., dirty windows, broken furniture, holes in the wall and floor, extreme clutter).
· There is a strong ammonia smell, and dried feces, urine, vomit, etc., cover the floors.
· Animals appear to be emaciated, lethargic, and not well-socialized.
· Fleas and vermin are present.
If you believe someone you know is struggling with animal hoarding, pick up the phone and call the LCSO Animal Abuse Task Force at (239) 477-1622. A phone call may be the first step in getting the individual and the animals the help they require.
Food must be nutritionally sound to maintain animals’ health and adequate weight.
–Food must be free from debris and bacteria/mold.
–Ribs and hips may be visible in animals lacking sufficient nourishment.
–Water must be within reach of the animal in a clean vessel.
–Water must be free from debris and algae.
–Rain is not an acceptable form of water.
Excessive Breeding / Overcrowding
Large-scale and unlicensed breeders are a concern, but we can crack down on cruelty in puppy mills and other substandard animal breeders with your assistance!
The following are examples of Excessive Breeding/Overcrowding:
–Female animals being bred numerous times per year
–Little to no veterinary papers
–Breeder won’t permit buyers to view the living conditions or animal’s parents
–Selling animals before they’re weaned
–Animals kept in undersized kennels, possibly without adequate shelter from the elements
–Animals kept on wire-bottom cages with no solid surface available
–Animals with wounds, missing or matted fur, excessively long toenails
–Lack of sanitation – built-up feces under kennels or in the kennel area