Bastrop Animal Shelter Overwhelmed: Hoarder Pets Coming In

Bastrop Dog from Hoarding Situation photoApril 24, 2011

Your help is needed!

Bastrop animal shelter volunteer, Lorraine Joy reports the shelter is being overwhelmed with new pets due to a hoarding situation. The person responsible for hoarding a large, but yet unknown, number of pets has died and a family member is surrendering the pets to the animal shelter. So far, 25 pets have been surrenders; more are expected. The shelter only has 90 kennels and Spring is a busy time for most shelters with puppy/kitten season. The Bastrop animal shelter is a kill shelter, so time is critical to help move these pets on to rescue, foster, and adoptive homes.

About the animals … many are in need of socialization. Some are very scared. Some come toDog in Bastrop from Hoarder photo the kennel gate and beg for attention. Some cats have been dropped off too. It is $45 to adopt and that includes: all shots, a microchip, and spay/neuter.

I’ll update as more news is available; to be sure you receive all Pawsitively Texas updates, sign-up/subscribe in the upper right column (both subscription services work).

Shelter Information:
Bastrop County Animal Control and Shelter
589 Cool Water Drive
Bastrop, TX, 78602
(512) 549-5160

Pets Listed on Petango:

Dog from Bastrop Hoarder photoWorking Hours:
Sun: By Appointment
Mon: By Appointment

Tues: 11am – 4pm
Wed: 11am – 4pm
Thu: 11am – 4pm
Fri: 11am – 4pm
Sat: 11am – 4pm



  1. Thank you so much for bring this issue to our attention.

    I’m a researcher for the series Confessions: Animal Hoarding, currently airing on Animal Planet that tells the stories of people overwhelmed by the number of pets they own. The problem is on the rise and affect communities across America.

    If you are concerned about the health of animals in someone’s care and suspect they may be hoarding them, we might be able to help.

    Most animal hoarders don’t see themselves as hoarders, and sometimes don’t intentionally collect animals. Their relationship with their animals has threatened their relationships with friends and family.

    Most of these situations aren’t dealt with until they become criminal. This results in animals being euthanized by over-stressed shelters, and doesn’t address the underlying psychological issues – meaning nearly 100% of people end up in the same situation again.

    We are dedicated to finding comprehensive long-term solutions and believe therapy to be key to this. We can bring in experts to help people and their pets.

    If you or someone you know needs help because animals have overrun their life, contact me directly at or toll-free at 1 -877-698-7387.

    We will treat all submissions with confidentiality and respect.

    • Sorry. I am sick to death of every Tom, Dick and Harry claiming to be a hoarding expert, or to know a hoarding expert, or to have read something from a hoarding expert every time more than 2 animals enter a shelter together.

      Not buying it.


      I mean, you are not getting a dime from me.

      Geez Laweez. Even NPR admits that no one can come up with a definition of a hoarder.

  2. Is it not possible to help the animals without calling the previous owner names? This owner is being called a “hoarder” based on what? The number of animals, their condition, WHAT? JEEZ, that doesn’t even meet the nominal definition being floated by the ARFadoodles at Animal Planet. I guess one could claim the owner became “overwhelmed” and unable to care for the animals in DEATH but that seems like a rather reasonable excuse for being unable to tend them to me.

    • From what I understand about the situation, it’s important to know the animals come from a hoarding situation as some have not been properly socialized – that was stated in the article as well as the fact that 25 animals have already been surrendered with more to come. The important thing is to network these pets if they are to have a chance, because the shelter is overwhelmed.

      • Indeed, it is important to market these animals to new homes. How does making nasty allegations about the dead owner help that? Will people only take them if they are from the worst of the worst situations and not merely because they are in need of homes? If so, how very sad indeed.

        It’s important to know what situation these dogs are coming from without making assumptions and unsupported, perhaps unsupportable, inflammatory allegations, even against the dead. It’s important to treat owners with respect and dignity even if you disagree with them; perhaps particularly if you disagree with them. If it is indeed “all about the animals”, then do you really expect people to reach out for help knowing that they will be flamed and labeled as “hoarders” and “abusers” simply because they have some magical number of animals that someone else disapproves?

        What does the number of animals alone tell? Nothing. However, the 3 depicted animals seem to be in good coat and of good weight yet you label the owner a “hoarder” which implies poor care (or worse). I wouldn’t want 25 or 100 animals in my care but I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that many, many “rescuers” have upwards of 50 animals in their care. But that’s the dirty little secret of “rescue”, isn’t it? That one is a “rescuer” until and if “caught” with too many animals and re-labeled as a “hoarder”.

        BTW, “not socialized” is simply not even in the criteria for “hoarding”, nor is “not socialized” the least bit informative. The 3 you have depicted are certainly socialized enough to stand for pictures. Unless the animals had to be netted while snapping viciously, they are socialized to some extent and the question becomes what is their true condition. Clearly, as “breaking news”, that wouldn’t even be known as they haven’t been evaluated. Still, if you’re to use such terms, please use them responsibly.

        Back to the animals, how about focusing on them instead of the previous (now dead) owner? How about more about the animals and their true condition, information that would help a prospective owner decide if an animal would fit into their home?

        • “It’s important to know what situation these dogs are coming from without making assumptions and unsupported, perhaps unsupportable, inflammatory allegations, even against the dead.”

          I’m at a loss for the comments here. The son of the deceased is the one that called the pet owner a hoarder when he asked the shelter to help with the dogs and cats. The report issued by the shelter ACO referenced this as a hoarding situation. I’m simply at a loss that the posts here are as negative as they are; how about using some of that energy to help the animals in danger at Bastrop instead of making wild assumptions about the motives of people working hard to help pets in need find homes. I find it very sad that the animal rescue community can not work together better to help animals without always going on the attack.

  3. And how exactly do you know it’s a “hoarding situation”???
    These dogs look like they’re a little afraid …of course they are. They aren’t in their home any more and their routine is totally upside down.
    It appears more that the family members just didn’t want the responsibility and dumped them all on the shelter.

    • Lorraine is a shelter volunteer and familiar with this situation. She reported, as the article explains that 25 dogs and some cats have already been surrendered with more to come. We only posted three of the dogs photos, but there are more on their pet search site which is linked in the article.

  4. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that the dogs are going to be taken care of.

    But, to label a dead person a “hoarder”? Really? Such a thing really does not seem professional to me in the least. Someone said above that the dogs are not “socialized.” I will certainly be the first one to admit that there is no reason in the world for these dogs to be frightenened, what with the new smells, the new sounds, the new people, some of whom I am sure, are not going to be very nice to the dogs.

    Let’s think a moment about this “socialized” idea. What does that mean? Is there a definition of it? How many? Which one are you using? In what way is an animal, with the admitted reasoning power of a 7 year old, or less, supposed to be unafraid in EVERY SINGLE SITUATION THAT IS NEW TO THEM? Would you expect such a great feat with a child?

    Frightened animals, probably miss their owner, probably miss their home. Thrown into a situation with people who have a complete lack of understanding, empathy, compassion, humanity and just plain brains. You all disgust me. I feel truly sorry for the dogs that you wretched people get your twisted clutches on.

    I will now sit and await the headlines about how you have just GOT to have money, food, carriers, medicine, etc. for all these poor, horribly abused dogs, who were beaten with a baseball bat every day of their lives and forced to live out in 10 feet of snow and fight for rotten scraps. YOU are not better than the “hoarder.”

    • I just came from a shelter where I walked a number of these surrendered pets. They were scared to go OUTSIDE because they had never (or very rarely) been outside. None of them were comfortable with a leash, because they had never been walked. They were filthy, with poor teeth, and many are thin.

      This is clearly a case of animal hoarding, and your objections to the contrary don’t change the fact that over 60 dogs were held in poor conditions, and that counts as hoarding.

  5. The shelter nor I am asking for money.We are just asking people to adopt from the shelter and give a animal a second chance.25 dogs were surrendered and more are coming.The son that has been surrendering the pets would like to keep some.The shelter is working with him and has agreed to let him keep 5 if he gets them Spayed/Neutered.We have free vouchers at are shelter to help with this.People are allowed to walk in and surrender there pet at this shelter at any time.We also take pets from the 2 surrounding towns,We have 90 kennels and are a high kill shelter,The staff work very hard to help the animals get out and last month was there best save rate ever.but when there is no space left and a new animal comes in one has to die to make room.All the animals that have come in from this person look like they have been fed well.Some will come up to the gate and want attention.Others are scared.None of the dogs were growling or trying to bite when I walked the kennels today.We At Bastrop are just trying to encourage people that are looking for a pet or that really want to help a animal to consider adopting.No one has asked for money.

  6. Hmmm…
    Why don’t we take every dog in and around Bastrop and drop them in midtown Manhattan and see how well they’re “socialized”…

    “Judge not,lest ye be judged.”

  7. There is marketing – which is critical, then there is false advertising. One of the most important things in animal rescue is properly matching the adoptive family with the pet in need and that includes mentioning any special needs or quirks the pets may have. When a family is improperly matched, there is a higher chance the pet will be returned; owner surrenders in Texas are not protected and can be killed immediately if space is needed. Often, special needs pets are first taken into rescue before they are adopted and listing a pet’s issues helps create awareness for their need for extra care to help them be more adoptable.

  8. I help Lorraine with pictures at this shelter and I was there when the first batch came in. The son was speaking to the ACO calling his mother a hoarder. She would stop on the side of the road and pick dogs up and never look for the owners. The ACO at Bastrop has already found numerous dogs that actually belonged to someone because they were chipped.

    This was not us calling he woman a hoarder it was her own family.

    I am really saddened to see all of the negativity on this board. All we want to do is help the dogs out at the Bastrop shelter. With all of these dogs coming in that means 25 are going to die because they are full. With more coming in that means more will be euthanized.

    We are in puppy season right now and all of us need to unite to help these poor babies. It’s not the dogs fault that they ended up there but they need our help to get out of there.


    • Sarah & Lorraine – Thank You So Much 4 Helping the shelter and these beautiful animals. It is really sad that all the other negative minded people on this thread want to do is complain about a simple term in the English language. Thanks Again Sarah and Lorraine – You are true angels!

  9. PJ – There is a HUGE difference between rescuers (even if they DID have 50 animals) and “hoarders”. Rescuers spay and neuter their animals – no matter how many they may be fostering. They vet them, potty and crate train them, and teach them to love humans so they can find their forever homes. People that are labeled “hoarders” (by their own family members, I might add) almost always allow their pets to reproduce repeatedly, and usually have many animals that need vet care.

    It’s ridiculous for so many to be “offended” by the term “hoarder” and not focus on the fact that the Bastrop shelter is already over capacity and they are trying to get the word out so some of these animals can leave the shelter alive.

    Hmmm…..Maybe “hoarder” offends them because they are breeders, and don’t want anyone to tell them how many animals they can have either. “Me thinks they doth protest too much”

  10. There is absolutely no point in “marketing” a high maintenance dog to an owner who wants a low-maintenance dog. The poor dog will simply be returned to the shelter (or worse)–I volunteer in a shelter and it happens all the time.

  11. Why on earth must you kill the animals to make room for new ones!?
    Can’t you find another shelter for them that has more space? Or build a bigger shelter. Obviously it is needed. It’s like sending your grandma to a nursing home and when they run out of beds you just use lethal injection on em! Look at it that way. Who gives us the right to kill an animal because there isn’t enough room? How dreadful!

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