Syosset case highlights illness of animal hoarding

The removal of more than 100 animals from a filthy Syosset home Wednesday has highlighted the little-known mental illness of animal hoarding. Officials removed the animals from Angelica Mazzarella's

News 12 Staff

Feb 1, 2008, 12:42 AM

Updated 6,014 days ago

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The removal of more than 100 animals from a filthy Syosset home Wednesday has highlighted the little-known mental illness of animal hoarding.
Officials removed the animals from Angelica Mazzarella's home and took the woman to a hospital to be evaluated. Experts say the problem often starts out innocently.
"Animal hoarders tend to talk a great deal about their love of animals ? and ? being better able to care for the animals than other people," says psychiatrist Constantine Ioannou. "There has to be constant intervention. People who suffer from this type of condition tend to relapse continuously."
Lt. Gary Rogers, of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, says he's seen hundreds of similar cases in his 24 years on the job.
"We've gone to the people's houses and they scream that 'if you take my animals, I'm going to kill myself,'" Rogers says. "They become family members."Mazzarella will not face criminal charges, but could face violations from the town.
For Dr. Ioannou's full interview, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.
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