SPCA Is Over Capacity

By: Whitney Holmes
By: Whitney Holmes
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June 7, 2005

The SPCA is over capacity and now in overdrive to accommodate over 30 sick dogs brought in from a single home in Scottsville.

Laura Hawkins is just one of many wanting to adopt a dog at the SPCA. She realizes that they need her help now more than ever.

"It's really important for people to come and adopt now because there are so many dogs here and there is not a lot of space," said Hawkins.

There is not a lot of space because of an alleged animal hoarding case in Scottsville that put the SPCA 50 percent over capacity. Albemarle Police are investigating the case as animal neglect. The owner of the dogs is currently in jail for unrelated arson charges.

Executive director of the SPCA, Susanne Kogut, says she has gotten many calls from people who want to help make room for the dogs. She hopes this help sticks around because they are going to need it for a while.

"This isn't something that we are only overcrowding right now," explained Kogut. "We are going to have all [the dogs] here for a couple of months, so it is going to put a stress on the shelter [for at least two months]."

Animal hoarding is often times a symptom of a greater mental illness, such as obsessive compulsive disorder.

Studies show that seventy five percent of animal hoarders are women and half of them are over sixty years old. The SPCA says situations of alleged animal hoarding are not common, but do happen.

"About a year ago we had a case of alleged animal hoarding where a lady had about thirty to forty cats and her son was just bringing them in," recalled director of development Patrice Batcheller.

Batcheller also cited a recent situation of a woman with mental illness who had fourteen dogs.

Out of the thirty-three dogs brought in from Scottsville Sunday and Monday, fourteen had to be euthanized for behavioral reasons, and another one for medical reasons. Eighteen remain and will be adoptable once they are healthy, which will take at least a month.

If you would like to foster, adopt, or make a donation, you can call the SPCA at 434-973-5959.

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