Something that particularly bothers me is how most people will gladly swallow any story that the media serves up to them. They never pause to think about the possibility of spin, hidden agendas, or the like.
The current spate of raids of suspected animal hoarders are no different. For the majority of the lemmings who consider themselves incapable of cruelty, they also consider anyone labeled a hoarder to be the spawn of Satan.
But let's look at a few recent cases, like this one in Providence, Rhode Island.
Although the news presenter on the video chews the scenery up one side and down the other, I don't think we can assume with absolute certainty that there's a hoarding situation going on. Certainly, there are few of us who want 60 dogs, but take a look at the house they came from. It's a three-story house.
And look at the dogs themselves. I didn't see a single one that was underweight. Even an Animal Control officer (with an unfortunate name) said this on camera:
"They appear to all be in fairly good condition," said Pawtucket Animal Control officer John Holmes, who brought about 30 of the dogs to his city's shelter. "I didn't see anything that raised a red flag other than the large number of dogs."
But the obnoxious news presenter ended his spiel by muttering on about how hoarders are sickos and hoarding is a crime.
So... who wants to bet the rent that:
In less than two weeks, most of the dogs will be up for adoption?
The owners will never see any of their animals again?
The charges will be eventually dropped for lack of evidence?
I can't help but wonder if these people, and others like them, are turned in by self-righteous animal rescuers with plenty of animals in their own homes.
Want to know how one of these rescuers might define a hoarder?
Someone with one more animal in her home than she has.