Push for Animal Hoarding to Become a Criminal Offense
January 27, 2017
State Senator Greg Steube seeks to make animal hoarding a criminal offense. Sen. Steube is not alone in his beliefs. Jennifer Galloway, the executive director of the Gulf Coast Humane Society shares in this sentiment. Galloway asserts that if hoarding was a criminal offense, those who seek to protect animals will have "a tool in the toolbox...to be able to do something." Because animal hoarding is not a criminal offense, more than 150 incidents of animal hoarding in Florida over the past decade have been left uncharged. The proposed bill would define animal hoarding, designate it as a third degree felony, and would allow for the seizure of animals whose health and welfare are in imminent danger. Additionally, those convicted of animal hoarding would be required to undergo psychological counselling. Galloway suggests that "a lot of times, it starts out with good intentions. They just want to help that one or two cats and it turns into 50 cats." As such, if the bill passes both the animals and hoarders could receive the proper care needed.