Pleasanton Weekly

News - April 22, 2011

Animal hoarders ask for help

Valley Humane Society rescues 10 dogs, filmed by Animal Planet

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

A team from Valley Humane Society helped remove 10 mixed-breed dogs in ages ranging from 3 months to 4 years from a home of animal hoarders in the Sacramento area Monday after they asked for assistance.

"The owner voluntarily surrendered his dogs," said Steve Glavan, Valley Humane Society's executive director. "This was not a criminal case, and this individual and his family have taken steps to address this issue with our help."

Valley Humane Society, which is located on Nevada Street in Pleasanton, helped with the dog rescue in cooperation with the Animal Planet for its new hit series, "Confessions: Animal Hoarding." The series explores stories of people who own more pets then they can care for.

"This was situation where the producers contacted us directly," Glavan said.

"We wanted to work with a no-kill shelter with a strong reputation for animal care and placement and Valley Humane came highly recommended," said Jereme Watt, producer for the Animal Planet program.

Valley Humane Society will be working with local experts and its staff to assess the physical and behavioral condition of each of the dogs in the coming days, with the goal of making them available for adoption.

"We know that a lot of people have a passion for animals that come out of situations like this," Glavan said. "These are special dogs, and some may require patience and love to adjust, but we believe we can find a loving home for every one of them."

Glavan noted that taking on this project will stretch Valley Humane's resources, but says the opportunity is too important to pass up.

"We still need to raise a significant amount of money as we move into our new facility, but this is our mission," he said. "We are confident that the community will respond to support this effort."

Local companies, including Murphy's Paw and Pet Food Express, have already stepped up to provide supplies and volunteers to assist with the care of the rescued dogs, he said.

Animal Planet is highlighting the problem of animal hoarding, which Glavan says is little understood and far more common than most people realize. There are over 3,000 reported cases a year, and at least 10 times that number that go unreported.

To learn how to contribute directly to the ongoing care of the Valley Humane rescue dogs, or support Valley Humane Society's ongoing programs, visit www.valleyhumane.org or call 426-8656.

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