Heartbreak at Root of Dog Hoarding - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Heartbreak at Root of Dog Hoarding

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It's a home that's been very familiar to animal control officers over the past 6 to 7 years, and Monday, they paid another visit.

The old children's song asks how much is that doggie in the window? But in this case, it's how many doggies are there?

"When we got here we talked to the lady found out there was probably 30 plus," said Justin Williams of Tulsa Animal Welfare.

Officials say the homeowner was reluctant to turn some of the dogs over until she was assured they wouldn't be put down. And so, the Humane Society was called in.

"This is the fourth hoarding case we've seen this summer," said a Humane Society official. 

"I'm not going to deny that I do hoard my animals because I don't want no one taking them and not taking care of them," said Henrietta, the homeowner.

Henrietta didn't want her face on camera, but was willing to talk about how it got to this point, pointing to hole in her heart from her deceased husband.

"He was my world. And when they called code at the hospital on him I knew that I'd lost everything so this is what I got now," she said.

They each had names, and by the end of the day she had turned over 25 dogs. Her pet food bill, she says, was over $100 a week. The hope of animal control? That Henrietta will be able to control the number of dogs she cares for from now on.

"And just get down to three, and show them the love and compassion that she needs to and work on herself," said Williams.

"Could you be happy with just 2 or 3?" asked Channel 8. "I don't know, I've got some that I've had for 10 and 12 years, how can you do that? How can you say those have to go? I can't, no," said Henrietta.

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