Westminster is a city with a population of about 70,000 residents, of which 40 percent are Vietnamese-Americans. Indeed, a swath of Westminster has become known as Little Saigon because it has the largest population of Vietnamese-Americans in the United States.

As is the case with any California community, there are pros and cons to life in Westminster. For example, there are some alarming cases of hoarding that have occurred in Westminster. These include cases involving animal hoarding.

In layperson’s terms, animal hoarding is defined as:

Keeping an abnormally large number of animals in squalor so that the person and their animals are not receiving the care they need.

Basic Statistics Associated With Animal Hoarding

There are a set of basic statistics associated with animal hoarding. These statistics are based on nationwide research into animal hoarding. With that noted, these statistics are also proportionally appropriate to the rate and circumstances of Westminster animal hoarding.

  • Animals most commonly hoarded are cats, the second most commonly hoarded category of animals are dogs.
  • Other types of hoarded animals include chickens, goats, snakes, and lizards.
  • In a vast majority of cases, cases of animal hoarding would bankrupt a local human society if additional funds are not collected to address the needs of the animals taken from a hoard.
  • In the United States, there are 3,500 new cases of animal hoarding brought to light each year.
  • An extremely traumatic or stressful event is the underlying cause of animal hoarding in most cases.
  • 40 percent of people who hoard objects ultimately will hoard animals.
  • Animal hoarding exists in every community, including instances of the disorder in Westminster.
  • 72 percent of an animal hoarder are women.

Animal Hoarding in Westminster

During that past year, a horrific case of animal hoarding occurred in Westminster. The case involved nearly 80 English and French bulldogs.

When the report came in about the possible existence of a hoarding situation involving dogs, the indication was that there were 25 canines at the scene. When rescue personnel arrived, 78 Bulldogs were found.

The dogs were in terrible condition. They were covered in mange and had ear infections. Some of the dogs had infected surgical incisions.

Following their rescue, the dogs were taken and placed in the case of Westminster Adoption Group and Services. They arranged for the treatment of all the canines. They were all expected to recover.

There was no clear idea of how long the property owner had been hoarding dogs. The owner did give some indication that breeding bulldogs originally was the intent. If that were the case, at the time the animals were collected and taken away, none of them were in a condition to be sold.

Helping a Westminster Animal Hoarder

One of the most alarming facts associated with animal hoarding is that nearly 100 percent of animal hoarders will relapse and start hoarding again without in-depth therapeutic treatment. The reality is that the only certain way to prevent a relapse of animal hoarding is to obtain assistance for a hoarder on a number of different fronts.

First, professional hoarder property cleanup is a must. A hoarder property cleanup specialist is able to remediate all aspects of an accumulated hoard. This includes addressing biohazards that will be an element of an animal hoarding case. In fact, biohazards are likely to accumulate even with the hoarding case involves objects rather than animals.

Second, professional mental health assistance is also necessary. Research reveals that the animal hoarding relapse rate is 100 percent when the hoarder doesn’t receive professional mental health assistance. Therapists and counselors that treat individuals afflicted with animal hoarding in Westminster include:

New Hope Therapy Center
14501 Magnolia Street, Suite 104
Westminster, California 92683
(714) 891-0080

Moving Forward Psychological Institute, LLC
13950 Milton Avenue, Suite 301
Westminster, California 92683
(949) 558-2433

Thang Huynh LCSW
14541 Brookhurst Street, Suite C11
Westminster, California 92683
(714) 489-5870

These therapists provide individual treatment as well as access to group therapy. There are hoarder therapy groups in and around Westminster, including groups that have a focus on addressing the particular needs of animal hoarders.

These professionals can also provide assistance to a family in need of assistance in the approach a hoarding loved one. One of the most challenging aspects of reaching out to a hoarder is convincing them that he or she is need of assistance. This proves particularly challenging when a person is hoarding animals or pets. Animal hoarders nearly always feel that what they are doing is in the best interests of the animals, no matter the actual physical and emotional state these animals actually are in.

Photo Courtesy of Adam73.