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Animal rescue can turn into animal hoarding

Animal lovers nationwide heroically rescue animals from homelessness, neglect and cruelty every day. But some animal rescuers who become overwhelmed can turn into animal hoarders when, in spite of their best intentions, they are not able to provide adequate care to the rescued animals.

Such was the case recently in Lucerne Valley, California, a Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) media outlet reports. Producers of the Animal Planet show, Confessions: Animal Hoarding, called the HSUS to make an intervention for the good of the animals. The organization found about 150 dogs, including those who were pregnant, nursing and injured, in outdoor pens at a woman's home.

The owner voluntarily surrendered the dogs to the HSUS, which transported them to a temporary shelter to be examined by veterinarians. After the assessment, they will be distributed to various shelters and rescue groups for adoption evaluation. Adam Parascandola, the director of animal cruelty issues for HSUS, says the Lucerne Valley incident was an "unfortunate case of an animal lover and rescuer who became overwhelmed."

Animal hoarding happens when there are too many animals for a person or group of people to support with appropriate space, food, water, veterinary care and attention - and it's more common that many people think. According to the HSUS, there are over 3,000 reported cases of animal hoarding each year, and many times that number go unreported. Roughly 250,000 animals fall victim each year, according to the Animal Hoarding Project.  
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