Sandy Moss and Animal Hoarding
The above photos are from 1989, and have been released by the
authorities to help educate our visitors about this particular person
and the phenomenon of Animal Hoarding.
The above photos were taken by a Saluki eyewitness in 1989 at a
kennel in Frisco, Texas where Sandy Moss (now Alexandra Shalmers)
temporarily boarded her dogs and did not return for them or pay the
boarding fees. The kennel requested witnesses and photos be taken
to document the conditions of the dogs at that time. The following
is an excerpt from a letter written about those dogs. "...I believe
you can see the emaciated and poor condition of the pups and
adults. There were two litters of four or five, some having died
before our visit. One of the nursing bitches weighed 32 pounds.
One male had a deformed leg that appeared to be from an untreated
fracture. Two bitches had mange so badly that they screamed in pain
when touched. None of the dogs were on heartworm preventive. They
all had tape worms, ear mites, whip worms, hook worms and of course,
Reports since 1989 describe similar conditions throughout the years
from the time of the Texas rescue to the recent Virginia rescue. Is
it possible that Alexandra Shalmers exhibits the typical behavior of
an animal hoarder?
There is a story in a recent issue of Parade magazine called "Are You A Pack Rat?" which refers to to the problem of compulsive hoarding. It says 250,000 animals becomes victims of hoarders every year. They talk about the horrible physical and psychological conditions for the animals. "Yet, despite the horrendous conditions, hoarders will insist that they are protecting their pets from a crueler fate. Some animal hoarders are overwhelmed caregivers who take in more pets than they can handle. Others are exploiters who say they are sheltering animals but really are using them to satisfy a psychological need."
It says hoarding may be a symptom of compulsive-obsessive disorder. The article goes on to state that hoarding may be a symptom of compulsive-obsessive disorder and that neuro-imaging scans reveal distinctive abnormalities in the brains of hoarders that may cause difficulties processing information and making decisions. The director of the Menninger Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treatment Program in Houston says getting rid of a hoarders possessions doesn't change the behavior - they have to do the discarding themselves. Also, when hoarders try to get rid of an object they experience not just anxiety but grief because, to them, they are losing a part of themselves. For a more detailed explanation of animal hoarding, please see this link to a pdf article, “People Who Hoard Animals” published in Psychiatric Times, April 2000.
While mental health problems may be an explanation for hoarding and abuse, it is not an excuse for it. No animal should have to endure such abusive and neglectful circumstances. It has now been more than fifteen years since a major rescue of Elektra Salukis took place. To the best of our knowledge, this recent case is the first time that the defendant in this case has been arrested on animal abuse charges. Through education, outreach, and the concerted efforts of the Saluki community working together with rescue groups such as STOLA and with the authorities, we look forward to ending this cycle of abuse. It will not be an easy task, but if we all work together for the good of the dogs, we can look forward to preventing this from ever happening again.
|As our visitors are probably aware, Alexandra Shalmers/Sandy Moss has been arrested and charged with and convicted of animal cruelty. There are now 39 Elektra dogs in STOLA care. Since the court case is complete and the dogs all in STOLA's possession, the ESAF account will soon be closed. Please make any further donations directly to STOLA.
A fundraiser auction to support the STOLA, including the Elektra rescues, will begin on eBay September 30th, 2005. Anyone wishing to donate items should please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org