Bucks County SPCA Executive Director Anne Irwin says animal hoarding is much more common than some people might think, partly because many cases do not end up in court. Most of the time, she says, their goal is to resolve the problem, not to prosecute.
“Many animal lovers would think, ‘Look how those animals were neglected. Let’s throw the book at that person.’ But that doesn’t necessarily solve the problem for animals, and it doesn’t prevent something from happening the next time. We’d actually like to have an ongoing relationship with these people so that, as they tend to backslide, they’ll talk to us. They won’t be afraid of us.”
Irwin says the SPCA could end up holding a large number of animals for months or years if they went head-to-head and prosecuted everyone but, just as importantly, they want to leave the door open for future discussion. She appeared Wednesday on the WNPV talk program Legally Speaking.