Lake Elsinore is nestled on the banks of a lake of the same name. Lake Elsinore has a population of about 55,000 has grown from a small resort town to a bustling city in recent years. The city is spread over a large geographic area. Lake Elsinore is a highly diverse and culturally rich community.
Under the bucolic surface of life in Lake Elsinore is the grim reality that somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 people in the community suffers from hoarding disorder. Experts believe that the rate of hoarding disorder is between 2 to 5 percent – with an important caveat. Many experts believe that a larger percentage of people are afflicted with hoarding disorder, in Lake Elsinore and elsewhere, but are able to keep their condition hidden.
In addition, there are hoarders who are known to their families. However, because they are embarrassed, these family members keep their relative’s hoarding hidden and do not endeavor to obtain assistance for the family member with hoarding disorder.
Overview of Hoarding Disorder
Hoarding disorder is a persistent and progressive condition that makes it difficult for a person to part with possessions. An individual who hoards has a perceived need to save these objects. Indeed, a person with hoarding disorder experienced profound distress at the very thought of getting rid of these objects. This is the case even when the items hoarded have no value or are even garbage.
Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distresses at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs. As hoarding progresses, a person’s home becomes unlivable and unsanitary.
In addition to hoarding objects, some people with this disorder hoard animals or pets. In a good many cases, a person who initially hoards objects ends up hoarding animals as well.
Understanding the Basics of Animal Hoarding
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA, has adopted a definition of animal hoarding originally developed by the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium. The definition is:
- The individual possesses more than the typical number of animals, usually at his or her residence.
- The individual is not able to provide properly for the animals. This includes failing to provide even the minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter and veterinary care.
- The individual is in a state of denial regarding his or her inability to properly provide for the minimum care of these animals. In addition, the person has no appreciation of the true state of affairs in regard to the animals as well as the state that the individual’s residence.
Criminal Penalties for Animal Hoarding
The serious nature of animal hoarding coupled with the fact that the negative consequences of it extend to other people, the community at large, and to animals, can result in the imposition of criminal penalties in some instances. The reality is that on a first-time case of animal hoarding, the likelihood that a hoarder will be criminally prosecuted in Lake Elsinore is not great. The odds of being criminally prosecuted for animal hoarding increases on a subsequent instance of this type of conduct.
If a person is prosecuted, and convicted, of crimes associated with animal hoarding in Lake Elsinore, the penalties and sanctions can be severe. These include:
- Incarceration of up to a year in Riverside County Jail (in a misdemeanor case)
- Incarceration of 16 months to three years in state prison (in a felony case)
- Fine of up to $20,000
- Fees associated with caring for and housing seized animals
- Court-ordered counseling
- Having all animals permanently taken
- An order preventing possession of animals in the future
The Specifics of Hoarder Property Cleanup in Lake Elsinore
Hoarder property cleanup is an extremely challenging endeavor. The task becomes even more difficult when animal hoarding is involved.
The stark reality associated with hoarding is the fact that biohazardous materials are likely part of the hoard. This can be the case when objects are hoarded, but it definitely is the reality when animal hoarding occurs.
A professional hoarder property cleanup specialist has the tools, skills, and background necessary to properly address a hoard. A pro is able to thoroughly and safely remediate all aspects of a hoard, including eliminating dangerous biohazards.
Lake Elsinore Hoarding Disorder Therapists and Counselors
Experts maintain that a person with hoarding disorder who don’t obtain counseling and only has a hoard eliminated is nearly always likely to relapse. There are Lake Elsinore disorder therapists and counselors that work with individuals suffering from hoarding disorder.
Image Courtesy of miheco.