Agoura Hills is a community with about 21,000 residents. In some ways, across the United States, Agoura Hills has become known as the incubator of the “nu-metal scene.” This has included the launch of musical acts including fame that has given rise to such acts as Linkin Park, Dub Thompson, Skye Aspen, Incubus, Hoobastank, and Fort Minor.
Hoarding in Agoura Hills
Each year, the presence of residents of Agoura Hills is discovered. Hoarding eventually comes to the attention of the neighbors of a hoarder or family members. Indeed, these associated individuals likely have realized that something was amiss regarding property accumulation at a hoarder’s home for some time before they report or take action to stop it.
In some cases, family members are particularly slow in addressing a hoarding issue of a loved one. Indeed, they may finally realize a loved one is hoarding when a third-party, including a representative of a governmental agency – like adult protective services – notify them of an issue.
The world-renowned Mayo Clinic, a hospital that assists many patients with hoarding disorder, defines the condition as:
A persistent difficulty parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them, even when these items have no value (or are even garbage). A person with hoarding disorder undergoes distress even at the thought of getting rid of the items. Eventually, the excessive accumulation of objects occurs. This limits the usability of a residence until the entire house can become unlivable.
The assistance of an experienced, professional hoarder property cleanup specialist oftentimes is necessary to resolve and remediate a hoard. A professional hoarder property cleanup specialist has the background necessary to safely and thoroughly remediate a hoarding situation and restore a house to a livable condition.
The majority of hoarding cases involve the accumulation of objects. A decent percentage of hoarding situations involve animals. Some object hoarding cases evolve into animal hoarding.
Animal Hoarding in Agoura Hills
One type of hoarding that occurs in Agoura Hills involves other animals. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals describes animal hoarding as:
Animal hoarding is a complex and intricate issue with far-reaching effects that encompass mental health, animal welfare, and public safety concerns. Animals “collected” by hoarders range in species from cats and dogs to reptiles, rodents, birds, exotics and even farm animals.
The ACPCA has developed a relatively simple set of criteria to be utilized to define animal hoarding:
- A person possesses more than the typical number of companion animals.
- An individual is not able to provide even minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter, and veterinary care for these animals.
- An individual is in denial of this inability to provide minimal care.
Understanding why people hoard animals is not fully understood by mental healthcare professionals. More recent research studies suggest a number of mental health conditions underpin the development of animal hoarding. These include:
- Delusional thinking
- Other mental illnesses
Legal Outcomes for Animal Hoarders in Agoura Hills
The Agoura Hills Police Department/LA County Sheriff’s Substation can become involved in cases of animal hoarding. The Department is located at:
27050 Agoura Road
Calabasas, California 91301
Criminal prosecution is not necessarily an easy task. These types of cases can prove challenging to prosecute. In addition, on a first-time case likely results in what are relatively minimal sanctions.
In cases in which an animal hoarder has been prosecuted in Agoura Hills, that individual typically returns to collecting animals when a case is over. In Agoura Hills, the general consensus within the court system is that an animal hoarder is emotionally troubled and not really a criminal. Individuals who hoard need assistance, including professional mental health assistance.
There have been cases in Agoura Hills where the court has ordered counseling in lieu of some type of penalty for animal hoarding. There have also been instances in which an animal hoarder has been before the court multiple times. In some of those cases, the court handed down an order directing a hoarder from possessing animals in the future.
The reality is that animal hoarding impacts more than just the life of a hoarder. This type of hoarding also negatively impacts other people, including neighbors of the hoarder. In addition, animal hoarding also unfairly negatively impacts the health and welfare of the animals.
Agoura Hills Hoarding Therapists
There are therapists and counselors that provide professional assistance to individuals suffering from hoarding disorder. These include:
Brandi Stoops, Ph.D.
28240 Agoura Road, Suite 101
Agoura Hills, California 91301
Empowering Minds Together
5308 Derry Avenue, Suite L-104
Agoura Hills, California 91301
Photo Courtesty of Scott Granneman.