MILAN (WWJ/AP) - The Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) in Ann Arbor is bursting at the seams after 65 animals were seized in two Washtenaw County animal hoarding cases.
In the first case, investigators found two cats and 45 dogs and puppies living in a confined area at a Milan-area home. The canines were mainly Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and Terrier mixes, but it appeared they were fed and in generally good condition.
HSHV says the animals' owner is an 85-year-old woman with health issues who couldn't live on her own anymore. Animal cruelty charges aren't being sought in that case.
In the second case, investigators found 18 cats at a man's home in Ypsilanti Township. Officials say many of the felines needed medical care and were at least partially feral. The HSHV says it plans to pursue animal cruelty charges in that case.
Matt Schaecher, cruelty and rescue supervisor for HSHV, told AnnArbor.com that most cases of animal hoarding start when people take in stray unsterilized animals, the animals breed and their offspring continue to multiply.
"With the economy the way it is, we're seeing an increase in cruelty cases with lack of food, people unable to feed and care for their animals," Schaecher said.
HSHV is discounting adoption costs for the animals, all of which will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and treated for illnesses before being put up for adoption. Donations also are being sought.
"Hoarder cases like these put a serious strain on our already full shelter," Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV CEO, said in a statement. "But we are committed to seeing that each beautiful soul gets a second chance at a happy life. We are hoping there are people out there ready to open their hearts and homes to these special animals."
For more information, visit www.hshv.org or call 734-661-3511.
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