Three recent animal hoarding cases bring to light the warning signs

The stench inside a Whitney Drive home in Paducah was so unbearable McCracken County Animal Control Director Kathy Coleman needed a respirator to get around.

“The living conditions had overwhelmed the residence to the point to where it was no longer sanitary. It’s not safe for her or the animals,” Coleman said.

Thirty cats were found inside. All were alive, but Coleman said some showed signs of malnutrition. “I believe she was just absolutely overwhelmed,” Coleman said of the homeowner, whose name has not been released.

This is the third recent local case of animals found living in unsanitary conditions. Licensed Professional Counselor Pam Sloan says hoarding can mask other issues. “They find that they are unable to socially interact positively with other people, and so they will tend to draw in more, and more, and more,” Sloan told Local 6.

Sloan said the triggers include making up for the loss of a loved one or having good intentions that later lead to too much strain, and hoarding is often paired with other disorders like dementia or depression.

“Many times an individual will forgo their own safety and their own medical care, as well as often food and personal hygiene, in order to sacrifice that time and energy into caring for their animals,” Sloan said.

Paducah’s Fire Prevention Department condemned the home. Coleman said charges are pending. “This would be neglect because the premises was allowed to get in such disrepair. The smell of urine and feces is very strong,” Coleman said of the conditions.

Charges could be filed as soon as Monday. 

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