Thank you for writing in with such a thoughtful question. I can tell that you love your grandmother very much and want what is best for her. Hoarding is a very complicated issue and it can be difficult to understand, as well as difficult to treat. Many communities now have a system in place to help, especially when it involves animal hoarding, and in most cases it will take a whole treatment team working together to be successful. There are underlying mental health issues that need to be addressed, and in the case of animal hoarding, the people affected are kind hearted folks who think they are doing what is right. They love the animals and believe that no one but them could care for them appropriately so it can be very traumatic if they are forced to abandon them abruptly.
I would suggest that you put some effort into finding out who in your community has the expertise and resources to help, even if you do it anonymously until you have a plan in place. I would first start with the local community mental health clinics and animals shelters. Explain the situation and see if they have any programs in place already. If you need to branch out further, contact local veterinarians, law enforcement agencies, the area agency on aging, adult protective services, and the housing authority. It will obviously take some time and effort, but getting your grandmother the help she needs to find a peaceful solution will benefit everyone involved. As frustrating and concerning as the situation is, approaching it with compassionate will aid the solution. Good luck to you and your family.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts