Animal cruelty is a matter that authorities don’t take lightly. Animal rights are just as significant as human rights and laws. Recently, there was a case involving a 42 year old woman from Washington, who reportedly had 42 cats in her car. One of them was found dead by the Police. She was arrested on the charge of animal abuse.
The woman goes by the name of Kathryn St. Clare. The cats that survived were fortunately rescued and provided with fresh water and food by Clatsop County Animal Control.
In regards to the punishment of the defendant, St.Clare is serving her sentence. She was brought to the Clatsop County Jail and is going to be charged with 30 counts of animal abuse. The case is still being investigated because her punishment might not end there.
It’s hard to say why anyone would do such a thing like this, but speculations are that St. Clare was a cat hoarder. Animal hoarding is maintaining a large number of animals as pets, while lacking the capability to correctly look after them.
It’s hard to understand why people hoard animals. According to Today, “It is quite common for animal hoarders to report very dysfunctional childhoods, characterized by inconsistent and unstable parenting if not outright abuse, during which animals were the only stable fixtures.”
So what exactly facilitates the act to hoard animals? Animal hoarding, which is most common with adults, starts when something like the loss of a relationship, health issues, or money troubles are being dealt with.
Animal hoarding actually maintains close ties with psychological disorders like borderline personality disorder.
Caring for animals is something that animal activists stand by. Although animal hoarders might not intentionally mean to harm the animals, their actions are still dangerous and unjust.
It is evident that St. Clare is facing mental instability and facing a hard time in her life. Her frustration is being placed on the lives of the cats.
Animal hoarding is classified as a common type of animal abuse and according to Statistic Brain, the percentage of reported cases is at 13%.
Just like with any other mental illness it needs to be treated with therapy. Spreading awareness about animal hoarding helps so that it can be minimized and prevented.
Although what St.Clare did was obviously wrong, we have to understand that it is something traumatic or tragic that has led her to this animal hoarding. We have to consider what life she has lived that has prompted her to act in this way.
A trait that is commonly associated with animal hoarding is emotionally clinging to animals. According to ADAA, “[Animal hoarders] avoid the pain of letting go of things that seem very special, even when clutter prevents comfortable living.”
In regards to proper care for cats, they require food, clean water, a tidy litter box, medical care, and love. It’s very similar to caring for a child.
St. Clare reportedly admitted that she knew the cats were ill. According to The Daily Astorian, “At the clinics, she allegedly was told the cat was suffering from feline leukemia, which is terminal and easily spreadable to other cats.”
Looking at other animal hoarding cases, in 2015 a woman hoarded more than 200 dogs in southern Alberta. Rocky is one of them in the image below.
Animal hoarders have to understand that keeping cats in a car or truck without proper nourishment or places to dispose of cat urine and waste is unsanitary.
Many may joke about animal hoarding by calling them crazy cat ladies, a term many of us are familiar with. But jokes aside, animal hoarding is a serious issue that must be treated, just like any other disorder or illness.
At the end of the day, animals need to be treated like humans. They deserve the same loyalty, respect and care. If anything they need a little more care, because they can’t communicate with us through words.