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Kids, Animals Suffer in Hoarder Hellhole

Written by PETA | September 15, 2011

A horrific hoarding case in Chicago is a reminder of why, despite any ill-founded “good” intentions, hoarding never results in a happy home—for anyone. It’s absolutely vital to report all known or suspected cases of animal neglect or hoarding to authorities immediately.

Police reportedly found a mentally disabled 14-year-old boy dead in a backyard, wearing only a T-shirt. Inside the house, they allegedly found more than 200 animals—and three more sick children—living in filth and feces. Reportedly, all 109 cats in the house were suffering from feline AIDS and leukemia and had to be euthanized, and many other animals were starving and diseased, including a cockatiel whose spine was visible on his nearly featherless back. The children reportedly had never been to school or a doctor and slept on the floor, and their bare feet were caked with feces and dirt. The children’s mother has been charged with child abuse and cruelty to animals, among other crimes.

Hoarders exist in virtually every community, so it’s crucial to be alert to the signs of hoarding:

  • Hearing animals but rarely seeing them—or seeing many different animals (especially cats) in the windows
  • Windows kept closed with the shades always drawn, to hide the hoard
  • Flies on the inside of windows
  • Strong, persistent odors of waste and decay
  • Homes that look abandoned from the outside—unkempt and unlived in
  • Homeowners who refuse to open the door to visitors, instead meeting people outside
  • Dogs with bacterial infections, bite wounds, and skin conditions, such as mange
  • Yards that are overgrown, hiding the home 

If you notice red flags of animal hoarding, please don’t hesitate—call the police. Hundreds of lives—both animals’ and humans’—may be at stake.


Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post

Commenting is closed.
  • Animal Activist 009 says:

    I think that this has got to be the worst case of animal and child abuse I have ever seen! This is outrageous and you know what I am mad at everyone in this video except the lady who said she weeps for the ones we cant save. First off the reporter is way to smug I mean it seems as if she doesn’t care about the animals at all! I am mad at the neighbors because if they really cared then they would have seen or said something about that house it makes no sense! I am most especially mad at the so called mother of this tragic story! How could you let 200+ animals live in a small house all sick and dying and have 5 kids and their grandmother live in such chaos and my goodness your children are deathly ill and you can’t take them to a doctor this woman should be locked up for the rest of her horrible inhumane undiservable life!!!!

  • melissam says:

    I know many people on this site especially would disagree. But for me if given the choice between saving a human child and animal I would always choose to save the child. So I guess that makes chicky 6 right that I do value a human life more than the life of an animal. But that is just my very biased opnion.

  • Chicky 6 says:

    Melissam, to say the death of the boy is more tragic is to say humans have more wroth than animals. A child should NEVER had died in this way, but all those animals shouldn’t of had to suffer and die either. A person with a lower IQ is NOT of any less worth than a person with a higher IQ, same with humans and other animals.

  • melissam says:

    I am a vegatarian and believe in animal rights 100%. YES it is tragic what happened to those animals who deserved to lead far better lives and I am truley grieving for those animals. However the human loss and suffering in this case is far greater. I am a professinal in a feild directly related with children prehaps that makes my opnion bias. I am completly appalled that child services was never involved with this family. A singal phone call to CAS could have saved this boy, his siblings and the 200 animals from this hell hole. People have a moral duty to report suspected child abuse. IF YOU SUSPECT THAT A CHILD OR ANIMAL IS BEING ABUSED TAKE ACTION AND AVOID THIS TYPE OF SUFFERING.

  • Vegan Jenny-Bean says:

    I don’t like the news reporter in this video. She calls the animals ‘filthy’! It wasn’t the animals that were filthy; it was the owner and the horrendous conditions in which the animals were held in… Also, when someone was interviewed saying they felt bad for the animals, that didn’t mean ONLY the animals and not the children, which is what the reporter leads you to believe. Yes, it is extremely unfortunate that a 14 year old boy died. I do think, however, the animals do have a right to be ‘wept’ for as well.

  • vegobsessionchick says:

    That is just tragic!

  • vegobsessionchick says:

    That is just tragic!