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This article was in the Houston paper yesterday.

April 14, 2007, 8:58PM
Officers find woman in car with 40 dogs
More animals discovered in Fort Worth home of 'hoarders'


FORT WORTH — Four weeks of investigation sparked by neighbors' complaints led animal control officers to a woman found in her car with 40 dogs, including about 35 Chihuahuas.
A search of her home turned up more dogs and other animals as well as about a dozen animal carcasses in her freezer, officials said Friday.
The couple who raised the pets are animal hoarders, authorities say.
"They have this compulsive behavior with animals," said Dave Fulbright, animal control supervisor for Fort Worth. "They see them as their children, and they see them (selves) as the animals' savior — their protector. They will keep them out of harm's way."
Each animal had a name and got expensive pet food. Some of the Chihuahuas even slept in their own cribs, complete with heating pads, food and water containers, tucked inside the master bedroom.
The discoveries began Thursday morning when animal control officers armed with a search warrant went to the home in Fort Worth, where they found several animals inside and outside the home. As they talked to neighbors, they learned more about the woman who lived there.
"She had sometime in the recent past secured a U-Haul trailer, loaded it with dogs, as was witnessed by the neighbors, and took off somewhere," Fulbright said.
Assisted by Fort Worth police, he found the woman in her Buick at a local gas station.
Also in the car were 40 dogs, including 35 Chihuahuas.
The woman agreed to turn them over to animal control officers.
In all, 57 dogs, seven cats, five birds, four rabbits, two ferrets and one guinea pig were seized.
"Every one of these animals had a name, and she knew every one of them, which is classic of hoarders," Fulbright said. "These were her babies. There were her children."
Fulbright said he sees four to five animal-hoarder cases a year in Fort Worth.
That two people were involved in this case is somewhat unusual, he said, but "the true hoarder was the female, and the gentleman who was residing there was protecting her," Fulbright said.
As is routine, Fulbright said, investigators searched closets and cabinets for any small animals that may have been hidden.
"In doing so, we also look inside things like refrigerators and freezers. Upon opening one of the freezer units located in the kitchen, we removed 10 dog carcasses, one rabbit and one cat carcass," Fulbright said.
Fulbright said animal hoarders sometimes keep remains because they have a difficult time letting an animal go.
The woman "was very disturbed about the fact that I had removed the animals from the freezer, because she was planning to have them cremated," Fulbright said. "By all indications, these animals had been there a long, long time."

What do you think about this story? As I read this article I gathered that the animals were well cared for and not abused. OK. I'll admit I would not like to live next to a house with 35 Chihuahua's so I guess the neighbor's complaints were justified. What's really disturbing is that part of the story about her loading up a U-Haul trailer with dogs. Strange case.

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hmm... even if you love them, there's no way you could provide the necessary vet care, etc. for all those dogs/animals... That and hygiene tends to be an issue with hoarders.. they just become blind to the fact that they are living in a pee and poo infested house...yuck!

1,123 Posts
this just blows me away in so many ways.

reminds me of a woman living in the Alzheimer's Assisted Living Home I was the Director of. She was brought to us after police investigated her home due to reports from neighbors. She had literally dozens of cats. They were all in good health, and were all fed well. Her son was kind enough to fill her room with stuffed and ceramic cats, and we'd often find her in there holding them or she'd carry them around the facility. She called them names, too.
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