With so many out-of-control hoarders claiming to be animal rescuers, “rescue” has become a buzzword to beware of—especially when combined with irresponsible “no-kill” promises. The strength of their compulsion also makes it vital that, when convicted, hoarders be stopped from possessing any animals in the future in order to break the cycle of abuse.
The latest reminder comes from Alabama, where Sharlotte Marie Adams, the operator of Animal Aid and Rescue Resources Inc., and her husband were arrested after a complaint was filed alleging misuse of funds and other donations to the “organization.” When police searched the Adamses’ home, site of the purported rescue, they reportedly discovered atrocious conditions. Andalusia Animal Shelter Director Christin Ball, whose staff is rehabilitating and housing some of the seized animals, said this about their condition:
They were all sick. There’s one that we’re not sure if he’s going to make it or not. They’ve had no care whatsoever. It’s sad. She claimed she’d taken them to the vet, but no one had.
Law-enforcement officials suspect that Adams exploited people’s “generosity by using cash donations – solicited under the guise of treating sick animals – to pay for personal items such as electric bills and groceries for the family.”
The couple was reportedly booked on charges of theft, endangering the welfare of a child, and cruelty to animals. But while police may have been shocked by what they found inside the house, PETA’s investigations often reveal nightmarish conditions at many so-called “rescue” facilities, such as Caboodle Ranch and Sacred Vision. And, as in those cases, it will be critical to seek a prohibition on animal ownership as part of the penalty if the Adamses are convicted.
What You Can Do
If you learn of any hoarding case—whether posing as a rescue or not—please contact the prosecuting agency and/or attorney’s office to ensure that any sentence or plea bargain include a clause forbidding the hoarder from owning or possessing animals.