You know, over here in aquaria we have this thing called “multiple tank syndrome” in which people who
hoard collect fish will just keep expanding their operations… usually resulting in entire rooms of their houses becoming “fish rooms.” Plumbed into the house water system, if you’re handy like that.
Here’s the thing. I’ve been watching Confessions: Animal Hoarding while cleaning my kitchen (since ALL THREE of my paid sources of television don’t have more than season one of Alaska: The Last Frontier, and I finished that already. Grrr.) and these people… seriously, I think they belong in institutions. We have drug rehab, yes? Animal hoarding needs rehab, too. These people aren’t sane. One of the Friends of the Hoarders said it best, I think: (paraphrase) “There’s something missing from her soul, and she’s trying to fill the hole with animals; but it’s not working.”
Sometimes I joke about becoming a Crazy Fish Lady. (I’m allergic to furry creatures, and a childhood experience keeping newts convinced me that amphibians are not good pets and reptiles are likely to be equally substandard pets. Despite my liking snakes.) But here’s the thing. Fish are contained. And if you fail to provide them with adequate care… they die. Even when you’re treating with quarantine tanks and medications and doing your water changes properly and cleaning your filters on schedule, fish still die. They’re really quite delicate, compared to mammals. House full of cat and dog waste so that the air stinks of ammonia and is giving every living thing in it breathing problems? Not gonna happen with fish. Any ammonia at all in an aquarium is a crisis of “OMG they’re all gonna die!” proportions. And if your tank hasn’t been maintained in a long while but you’ve still got fish left who are surviving Old Tank Syndrome… adding new fish will simply cause the new arrivals to die. (Quite possibly destabilizing the tank and killing off everything else shortly thereafter.)
However, I’m suddenly finding myself re-evaluating just how important it is to me to keep up with certain schedules. Even with a huge Christmas tree in front of the 75.
You know what else I’ve noticed about the animal hoarders? I think for each one, their family/friends were probably the ones who reached out to Discovery to get help (while giving Discovery some juicy “reality tv” fodder). However, many of those same family and friends are veeeeeeeeeeery, very guilty of enabling. Moral of story: do not enable the crazy. Call in the therapists before they destroy their homes. Hoarders are not “caring for” or “rescuing” their animals. They are abusing their animals for their own twisted emotional gain.