As well intentioned an animal hoarder may be, it remains an illness. Saving animals to pile them up in confined spaces throughout homes, apartments, warehouses and more is not rescue.
They all start out as a “rescue”, but find themselves incapable of letting the animals go, therefore keeping them all and in the end, having dozens if not hundreds living the rest of their lives where quality doesn’t exist anymore.
Ann Gillebrand, “Second Chance Adoption”
Louise Gagnon, “Miaouf”
Nathalie Pinel, “Cat Lovers Rescue”
Monica Campo, “Humanochat”
Laurence Perron, “Refuge St-Chatques”, aka “Le Vagabond”
Sylvie Janvresse, “Dogs life rescue”
Janine Larose, “Operation Felix”
Cindy Falcone, “Cindy Cat-Chat”, aka “The Montreal Cat Shelter”
and Barbara Lisbona, “Animal Rescue Network” who indirectly started this hoarding situation when all of the above volunteers/associates of hers branched off to start their own little hoarding places.
And that’s to name the ones who have been out there for the last 15 years, and for which the SPCA and MAPAQ have closed their eyes again and again, even worst, encouraging them by coming to their help when the hoarders’ resources are low…… Seriously? We need to encourage and enable these hoarders by letting them operate facilities at the detriment of the cats and/or dogs? Not counting people who “rescue” and hoard rodents, birds, and reptiles.
A true rescue mission is to take the animal(s), bring them to health, of course sterilize and vaccinate, and then put them in a temporary foster home, (or small shelter for cat overpopulation) but not to hoard them for 10+ years with no chance at finding a real home. And certainly not hundreds at a time. It takes time to find the right home for each pet, but the right home is out there. You have to find those homes by exposing your animals to the public for their chance to be seen and adopted. Not keeping them all their lives within the walls of a building with no quality of life.
Animals need to thrive, they don’t want to just exist. There should be more to life than just surviving and existing. It has to be worth living. Some inmates would rather be on deathrow than in jail for the rest of their lives. What do they have to look forward to in life? I know I certainly wouldn’t want to spend my life in a “shelter” that would be my jail forever.
Rescue organizations who do right by these pets, are the ones who do NOT have a physical shelter to pile them up. They bust their butts trying to coordonate foster homes before or at the time of arrival of the pet. You screen your fosters, you supply all they will need for the pet, you take care of all medical issues that arise, then you find a home for the animal, you screen the family, you do your checking up before you place the pet with them. You don’t just pile them up and keep them there forever.
As far back as 2001, Pierre Barnoti, at the time director of the Canadian SPCA, had declared his concerns on hoarders such as Ann Gillebrand and Monica Campo. Pierre Couture, director of the Berger Blanc was seizing Janine Larose’s cats and dogs in 1994. The City of Mascouche had to burn down her house due to public health concerns after finding dead cats between the walls, the supreme court of Canada allowed the City to burn the house down by refusing to issue an injunction.
We all remember Louise Gagnon and Miaouf, whose cats all ended up having to be euthanized under the direction of public health authorities, as the surrounding land had been contaminated with leptospirosis due to the cat hoarding facility legally established there.
Most of the known hoarders have been identified as volunteers at one time or another of one or more of these hoarding facilities. We must keep in mind that the above mentioned hoarders have an underground network among themselves to help each other run and hide, as well as enabling them in their hoarding practices.
After years of hoping to see a change, what is now clear is that the new generation is taking example after people such as Barbara Lisbona, whose profession entails social work with youngsters. Many people have mental health issues in today’s world, and taking care of cats helps a lot of those people. But they are not seeing the harm they are really doing. It is selfish for people to come volunteer at a shelter day in and day out and not see any future for these pets but get their “fix” by playing with the cats and feeling loved by them. We MUST stop this now, before these hoarding facilities spread more and more over the next 10 years. It is time to see the light, not try to solve mental health issues by having cats to take care of in a shelter. That is not what a cat shelter or rescue group should be about. First and foremost, it is the animals who should come first at ALL TIMES.