Last night we caught the second episode of Animal Planet's new series Confessions: Animal Hoarding. This episode focuses on Janice and J.D.—two people who are hoarders of dogs. Exactly how allergic are you to pet hair?
It's a series about people who hoard animals to a level that would shock even the crazy cat lady on The Simpsons, and how they need to come to terms with it because they either face jail time, losing loved ones, or in some of the extreme cases, their own lives.
Janice is a thrice married cancer survivor "cross-species hoarder" who lives in a trailer with 15 cats and 97 dogs. Cross-species hoarding is not very common, because most hoarders focus on one particular kind of animal. The area she lives in puts the maximum animals someone can legally have at a total of 10 dogs and/or cats. She started by breeding dogs for sale after her first husband died in a accident, but eventually stopped selling them after having a child with her 2nd husband, and started keeping them. Her current husband will not live in the same trailer she and the dogs occupy, and instead lives in a camper parked out back. She has reached a point where her husband will no longer enable her, and has threatened to stop paying for the pet food he buys, and can not move in with her daughter, because she will only allow her mother to move in if she has 4 pets, MAX. She works with the therapist to help her try to agree to give up over 100 of her animals.
J.D. is also a cross-species hoarder, but not as bad as Janice. She lives in the country with her life partner, 15 dogs, 10 cats, and three horses. When she was a child she, along with her brother and sister, ate poisonous mushrooms. While J.D. and her brother survived, her sister died in the hospital. After the death, her father became abusive, beat her brother, and caused her mother to psychologically break down. She resorted to bringing animals she found home, but when they would promptly disappear, her father would tell her they "ran off". Only later in life did she realized he was "getting rid of them" when she was at school. The animals she currently has, in addition to a dog J.D. rescued weeks earlier, has put a strain on the relationship with her partner Patty, who runs a business out of their home. Patty feels the animals are neglected while J.D. is away at work, and that, along with the financial costs of all the animals is too much. It has gotten so bad, they have begun closing doors in their home to each other, and no longer sleep in the same room, They bring in a therapist whom I can only describe as the Spencer Pratt of Dr.s because, besides his giving off a sleezy vibe, he has a flesh colored beard. He meets with them and helps J.D. realize why she does what she does, that it is OK to let some animals go, and alleviate much of the stress that is killing their 20+ year relationship.
GitEmSteveDave is the Jersey of JerseyCam and lives on a horse farm in NJ. He is a prolific commenter on many of the Gawker sites, and since he started commenting in June of 2007, has over 25,000 comments under his belt. He schedules his day around what TV shows are on, and can remember almost every movie/TV show he has watched. And currently, he is single. Weird, huh?