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Animal hoarding is a serious mental health issue that involves an individual or individuals acquiring more animals than they can care for. According to The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium at Tufts University, animal hoarding can be defined by the following characteristics:
According to Dr. Gary Patronek, founder of the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium at Tufts, there are three “types” of animal hoarders1:
Animal hoarders often keep animals numbering in the tens or hundreds. These animals are kept in abysmal conditions without having their basic needs met. Most hoarders do not feel that their actions are endangering the lives of the animals they keep, but rather that they are saving lives. Because hoarders are unable to provide even the minimal level of care for the animals, animal protection agencies who raid such residences report finding the homes caked in layers of feces, bodies of dead animals lying around, and no food or water for the animals that are alive. Animal welfare advocates have struggled for a number of years to have animal hoarding taken seriously as a mental disorder.
For more information on animal hoarding please visit the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium
1 Beyond the “Crazy Cat Lady” Stereotype: An Introduction to Animal Hoarding, interview on Animal Voices: March 25th, 2008Print this page