Traverse Bay Area Hoarding Task Force, Cherryland Humane Society React to Local Animal Hoarding Case

There’s a group called the Traverse Bay Area Hoarding Task Force. They say cases like this impact the people living with the hoarder and their community.

“It’s something very tragic because animals can’t speak for themselves.”

Hoarding due to a mental condition can make a home almost unbearable to live in.

Coordinator of the Traverse Bay Area Hoarding Task Force, Meredith Hawes says it can get worse when animals are involved.  “It increases the level of filth because they’re not able to maintain or keep up with the care.”

It’s not unusual for authorities or humane societies to get involved more than twice, like they did in the recent Traverse City animal hoarding case.

Hawes says, “Because it causes so much emotional distress it can be a slow process and often times it will take a couple steps forward and a step back and it really may include a lot of input from a lot of different agencies and there needs to be some support when it comes to the mental health condition itself.”

But it doesn’t make it any easier for the different departments involved.

Heidi Yates, Executive Director of Cherryland Humane Society says, “We’ve absolutely have seen neglect cases before, but this was something that it it’s just heartbreaking. We a couple months ago had been told about a situation where there were numerous cats in the house and was wondering if we could assist with taking in those cats and so we took in I believe close 20 throughout a period of time and today we went in and assisted.”

The Cherryland Humane Society says they need help spotting animal hoarding situations and for the community speaking up is key.

Yates says, “It’s so important if you suspect any neglect or cruelty that you contact your authorities I can’t say that enough.”