Pet overpopulation produces animal hoarding
by Shaka S. Lias
Feb 11, 2011 | 5449 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Maranda White, a volunteer with the Etowah Valley Humane Society, visits some of the shelter’s dogs that are currently up for adoption at their facility on Ladds Mountain Road in Cartersville.  You may also see many of the animals on the organization’s website at www.etowahvalleyhumane.org. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Maranda White, a volunteer with the Etowah Valley Humane Society, visits some of the shelter’s dogs that are currently up for adoption at their facility on Ladds Mountain Road in Cartersville. You may also see many of the animals on the organization’s website at www.etowahvalleyhumane.org. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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Roxanne was found with barbed wire twisted around her mouth and 40 pounds underweight. Henry's leg was mangled when a car hit him and his leg had to be amputated. Sally was bred at least 15 times until she required surgery to repair damage.

In addition to the dogs' strong will to survive they all have something else in common, Second Chance Animal Rescue and Adoption rescued them.

Jolynn VanCamp is a state licensed rescuer who has rescued cats and dogs since the mid-1990s. With the help of volunteers, she runs Second Chance and saves animals from death row.

Second Chance is a no-kill facility, which bears a huge responsibility, VanCamp said. "Being no kill you can end up with way too many animals."

To date they have adopted out more than 3,000 dogs, with strict instructions in the contract that if the owner ever wants to get rid of the dog they must return the animal to Second Chance. The dogs cannot be turned into a shelter or given to someone else without a screening of the home or shelter by Second Chance.

VanCamp said currently they have about 10 dogs that have been returned and cannot be adopted.

"There are seven in the house with me, and they have plenty of room and love," VanCamp said. The rest are in a kennel located on the 10-acre ranch in Canton where Second Chance is located.

VanCamp said saving pets is a passion she holds dear to her heart. "I've been active in trying to stop the over pet population, it stretches far and wide."

Although Second Chance is located in Canton, VanCamp travels throughout the state rescuing animals. Last month she rescued 19 dogs and five cats that were taken from an elderly woman's Cartersville home by Animal Control.

VanCamp said that case is a classic example of hoarding. She said tools for hoarding come from pet overpopulation, with owners desperate to give up their animals. "People dumped them on this lady and didn't care to look in her home to see the conditions."

"All they know is that she was taking the dogs," VanCamp said. "The lady believed in no kill, so many animals got dumped on her by these owner give-ups."

VanCamp said animal hoarding, animal cruelty and dog fighting all play a part in overpopulation, and unfortunately, there is no law against it.

Bryan Canty, executive director of the Etowah Valley Humane Society, said the amount of animals sent out varies depending on what is available and the demand. Last month, 106 animals were sent to different rescue agencies.

Second Chance is one of the many rescue organizations they use to find homes for the animals. He said oftentimes people think they take strays and abandoned animals, which is not the case.

"All animals are retrieved through the Bartow County Animal Control and must have an intake sheet," Canty said.

He said the last thing Etowah Valley or any agency wants to do is put a dog down. "It's simply done because of space. It's not animal control's fault, it's the fault of pet owners that continue to let their pets bred."

VanCamp agree, saying it was insane that it happens.

"What we are doing is using taxpayer money to build gas chambers and shelters so that we can kill while at the same time we're allowing people to bred and sell animals."

She said something has to be done to stop it. "It's a horrible thing."

To learn more about Second Chance, a nonprofit organization or to donate visit www.secondchancedogs.org.