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How to Help Overwhelmed Pet Owners

Firstby: Carol Bryant

It happens more often than you think: animal
control or humane law enforcement agents receive complaints of neglect but when
they arrive on scene find that there are underlying circumstances—such as
medical or mental health challenges, lack of financial resources or even
domestic violence situations—that prevent pet owners from adequately caring for
their animals. Traditional interventions involve seizing the animal and
punishing the pet owner without addressing what’s really going on, which in
effect allows the potential for this cycle to continue.  A new approach is
to consider all aspects of the family system and address, where appropriate,
the underlying causes that may be affecting the pet owner’s inability to care
for his/her pets.

That’s why the ASPCA (The American Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) launched its Cruelty Intervention
(CIA) program to proactively address situations where, without
intervention, animals would be in jeopardy of becoming victims of neglect. Just
recently, the program expanded with the addition of a social worker and a
caseworker. The CIA team  provides critical resources to pet owners who find
themselves and their animals in unstable situations. Services include
veterinary care, spay/neuter, and the removal and re-homing of animals. In
addition to the animal component, the team links pet owners to social service
agencies, medical care and other resources to improve the lives of all family
members. The CIA program specializes in comprehensive animal hoarding
interventions, working alongside other social service and public health
agencies to find the best resolution to these challenging cases. A crucial
component of these interventions is the long-term monitoring of animal hoarding
cases—cases remain open even after services are completed and the team
continues to check in, sometimes even on a weekly basis.

In an exclusive interview with BlogPaws, Allison Cardona,
director of the ASPCA’s CIA program, discussed some very crucial elements and how you can get involved:

National Statistics

  • It’s estimated that nearly 250,000 animals per year are
    involved in hoarding situations
  • An estimated 72% of hoarders are women
  • Cats are the most common species to be hoarded

Here's our exclusive interview and what the CIA program hopes to attain in the name of helping people by helping animals. Key areas of interest include:

1:35: Hoarding and the CIA investigating

2:55: How many people are involved and how to get involved

4:55: Where the program is currently located and future plans

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  1. I recently was giving up my 2 pugs to a pug rescue.because my one pug has a tumor problem that i can not afford on a continuous basis. Money has been a problem since my husband got lung cancer. i had them for over 8 years. if there was someway i could get help ,i could keep her where she belongs.Is there any any help out there for me before i surrender them? i’m having a hard time surrendering them i love them so much!

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