Police: Pa. woman hoarded dogs, cats, raccoons, 72-year-old ex-boyfriend

Hoarding has not yet been classified as a distinct mental disorder, but many believe it should be.

Police on Friday arrested a Reading woman for allegedly hoarding dozens of animals, as well as her 72-year-old
ex-boyfriend, according to a report from the York Daily Record.

Mary Lou Petrucci, 55, allegedly kept Harold Scheaffer locked in a room of her home for three months, bringing him only one meal each day. Petrucci shut Scheaffer in the room and nailed the windows shut after she started seeing another man, who lived out of his car that was parked in Petrucci’s backyard, according to WFMZ-TV.

Scheaffer’s daughter reportedly learned of her father’s alleged imprisonment in September and helped him escape. She told WFMZ-TV that she appealed to Petrucci’s new beau after two months of fruitless searching and was then forced to pay a ransom to have her father released.

Petrucci was free on bail after being arrested in June for allegedly hoarding 22 cats, six rats, five hamsters and four dogs. Agents on Friday reportedly removed six to eight more cats, two raccoons, a dog, a box turtle and fish.

Petrucci is now charged with false imprisonment and reckless endangerment. She is jailed at Berks County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.


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