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Animal Experts warn of the danger of animal hoarding after East Side case

By: Genevieve Curtis

EL PASO, Texas -- Malnourished dogs, animals and humans living in filthy conditions -- experts speak out about the dangers of animal hoarding after city workers made the disturbing discovery of 54 dogs and one cat crammed into an east El Paso home.

"There's often feces and urine and furniture that is soaked with those materials as well as insect infestations and rodent infestations," said Betty Hoover, executive director of the Humane Society of El Paso.

Hoover said every year about 250,000 animals become the victims of hoarding and often times, even after being rescued from poor conditions, their lives end because of it.

"Many of the animals have to get put down because they are so frail, so sick, so unsocialized that they cannot adopt," said Hoover.

Hoover said that's why the recent case in east El Paso is so unique, because they hope to find forever homes for all of the animals. But she said that is no reason to overlook the underlying issue.

"Hoarding is really a very complex issue. It involves health issues, it involves psychological issues, but most importantly what hoarding is, is someone taking in more animals than they can adequately care for," said Hoover.

Joaquin Dominguez said he's an animal lover and he can understand why someone would be compelled to take in so many pets.

"I'd rather see a dog be in a home then in the streets on in a pound," said Dominguez.

Still, when the amount of pets becomes overwhelming and owners can no longer care for them, animal experts said, it's not a good situation for anyone.

"For people that get overwhelmed with animals, there is help out there. Call Animal Services, call a rescue group, we will help," said Hugo Navarro an officer with Animal Services.

Hoover said those who might be aware of a hoarding situation should report it and try to talk to the person about the problem.

Animal Services said in the recent east side case, a family member reported the problem.



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