Sickness: Going inside the mind of an animal hoarder
Animal hoarder Alan Warner is now in hiding after Suffolk County SPCA officials invaded his Shirley home Tuesday at 9 a.m. to remove more than 75 animals, including a pig, bull, sheep and goats, he was living with.
Warner’s two-bedroom home at 36 Malba Dr. was knee-deep in feces and animal carcasses. Meanwhile, chickens, a chinchilla and even rats roamed free. A baby bull lived in the sunroom. What, many wonder, was he thinking?
“Hoarding is a mental illness where individuals feel extreme anxiety with the idea of parting with objects or animals,” Dr. Andrea Macari, a Great Neck-based clinical psychologist told Metro. “Typically, hoarders have a perverse sense of concern for the animals or objects that they hoard.”
The home Warner shared with his fiancee and the 87-year-old homeowner, Concetta Gigliani, who exhibited signs of dementia, has been condemned. He will likely face animal cruelty charges when he is scheduled to appear in court on April 21.
Warner and his fiancee are currently staying with friends at an undisclosed location and Gigliani is being evaluated at an area hospital.
“We seized ducks, rabbits, goats, pet mice and rats, cats, dogs, pigeons, a cow, a baby bull, a chinchilla and a pig from the residence. Most of the animals were malnourished and most of them have health issues,” SPCA supervisor Roy Gross told Metro.
It was one of the worse cases we’ve ever seen,” he continued.
“As horrific as the conditions were in Alan’s house, more than likely it was better for him psychologically to live in that filth than deal with the stress of being separated from the animals,” said Macari.
‘The smell was awful’
Councilman Daniel Panico was alerted about the animal hoarding by Paul Coraci, a concerned neighbor who lived in the rear of the house.
“I went to Paul’s house on Sunday,” Councilman Daniel Panico told Metro. “The smell was awful; I took some pictures. There was a cow living in the sunroom. I immediately contacted the proper authorities. It’s a very sad situation.”