What is Animal Hoarding?
Animal hoarding is a complex form of hoarding where someone accumulates too many animals and fails to take care of them, while denying the clear detrimental effects to the animals, the house, and the people around them. At Clean Earth Restorations we have helped clean and restore many homes where animal hoarding was a problem and know that it is a very difficult situation to unravel.
Why Do People Hoard Animals?
The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium of Tufts University states that many hoarders have “fertile soil” for mental health problems that, when combined with a variety of traumatic experiences, can lead to dysfunctional attachment styles to people and addictive behavior. This diagram shows how this can happen.
Who Becomes an Animal Hoarder?
Though hoarding can and does exist in every age, gender, and socioeconomic category, the HARC claims there is existing data to support the broad generalization that the stereotypical animal hoarder is often a single, older woman, living alone and socioeconomically disadvanted.
What Can I Do If I Suspect Someone is Hoarding Animals?
Animal hoarding is more often than not detrimental to both the animals and the owners of the animals. The animal neglect associated with hoarding can be considered a punishable crime. In San Diego you can report suspected hoarding to the San Diego Humane Society. Though their goal is to educate the public on how to properly care for animals they are entitled to “exercise the powers of a peace officer while investigating animal-related crimes.”
We Can Help
The decision to remove, and the actual removal, of animals from hoarding situations rests with the authorities but as a restoration company, Clean Earth Restorations offers state-of-the-art tools and procedures to bring any property back to a healthy and functional state. Our family-run company provides compassionate and efficient service to hoarders and hoarders’ families.
Many people find the clean up of hoarding property to be overwhelming, and for good reason. In animal hoarding cases there are usually issues with animal waste and infestations, which require more than just usual house cleaning techniques. Sanitization and sometimes general contracting renovations are necessary. At Clean Earth Restorations we combine general contracting and hoarding cleanup services to bring properties back to their full livability and use.
We also offer a free tip sheet on how to help someone who is hoarding (below). We are available for any questions you may have about cleaning and restoring homes where animal hoarding has caused damage. Call us today for a free consultation: (888) 471 6653.
Further Animal Hoarding Resources
When faced with the realization that you are dealing with an animal hoarding situation, emotions — frustration, anger, urgency, fear — can get in the way of facts. Clean Earth Restorations has put together this list of helpful websites where you can learn more about the origins of this problem and how to make the situation better.
- One of the most complete resources on animal hoarding, including intervention, animal welfare, public health, and university research is the HARC, or The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium.
- The HARC’s document “Animal Hoarding: Recommendations for Intervention by Family and Friends (PDF File, 125KB)” is a comprehensive, constructive and informative overview of possible actions for friends and families of animal hoarders. The conclusion is:
- …the communication and positive interaction that you are able to sustain can reduce the animal hoarder’s level of isolation, help build trust, and affect greater self-esteem. These factors are essential to keep the door open for potential change.
- Another general information site about animal hoarding can be found at Animal Hoarding.com.
- The UCSD Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Clinic (part of the Department of Psychiatry) studies compulsive hoarding and has an information website which answers questions about such things as typical behaviors associated with hoarding, what causes compulsive hoarding, and what treatments are available.
- The Children of Hoarders website has numerous resources for children dealing with a parent’s hoarding syndrome and an animal hoarding FAQ page.
- The Tufts University ‘Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium’ has thorough intervention guidelines for family and friends of animal hoarders, and has an entire website of resources dedicated to the subject.
- Nightline aired a show about animal hoarders that you may find useful: http://youtu.be/HJtcPeZBJJg
- Though the site Pet Abuse.com is more concerned with all forms of animal abuse and in particular voluntary abuse, it also has some information which may be useful to people in animal hoarding situations, especially as pertains to the legal ramifications of animal abuse and neglect.