Many dogs were confined for years at Greyhound Friends of Hopkinton. Some reportedly were not given an opportunity to get adopted. Read about the dogs, and about how hoarding (warehousing) can cause physical and mental suffering in dogs.
Animal hoarding is inhumane. The Association of Shelter Veterinarians found that "when confined long-term, animals frequently suffer due to chronic anxiety, social isolation, inadequate mental stimulation and lack of physical exercise." This can compromise the dog's physical and mental health as well as their potential for adoption. Despite this, there is currently no state law against hoarding.
Maggie was confined at Greyhound Friends for approximately 1,182 days.
She lived in the back kennel, away from the adoption floor. She began to repetitively spin in her cage, which is a sign of anxiety in a captive animal. Maggie also barked or lunged to keep people away from her cage, where she spent the majority of her time. She was clearly in distress.
A nationally-known animal behaviorist and former Director of Behavioral Programs for Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine's Shelter Medicine program toured Greyhound Friends and reported that “I do not believe it is ever humane to make a dog spend its life in a cage, but at Greyhound Friends where the cages are so incredibly small, this option would be even more inhumane…Dogs who lie in a barren cage for years and years with no exercise and nothing to occupy their brain sometimes become aggressive like Maggie or totally depressed.
The term we use in these cases is ‘learned helplessness’. The animal basically gives up because they have learned that no matter what they do they cannot get out of the cage or provide themselves with anything for stimulation. This is a very sad state for any animal to be in and it is completely inhumane to allow dogs to be housed in these conditions."
Learn about animal hoarding
The Tufts University Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium explains that "animal hoarding is not about animal sheltering, but is driven by an individual's need to accumulate animals and control them. This need supercedes the needs of the animals involved. Although hoarding may start out as a seemingly benevolent mission to save animals, eventually the needs of the animals become lost to the person's needs for control. The resulting compulsive care giving is pursued to fulfill unmet human needs, while the real needs of the animals are ignored or disregarded."
Research shows that 25% of hoarding cases involve self-proclaimed animal rescuers. The ASPCA found the recidivism rate for animal hoarders is almost 100%, and that the only long-term solution for stopping their behavior is to prevent the individual from owning animals.