Animal (pet) hoarding is a complicated issue and not talked about as often as general hoarding. There is a difference between raising/taking care of numerous animals and hoarding them. Animal hoarding doesn’t restrict itself to collecting only one animal, nor does it only negatively affect the person hoarding, it also negatively impacts the health and well-being of the animals.
How to Identify Animal Hoarding?
- There is an overabundance of animals at the home/building
- The animals are neglected, and the host is unable to provide the minimal standards of living
- Lack of nutrition, veterinary (medical) care, and cleaning can often result in illness or even death
- The host denies or is unaware of the obvious neglect and problem their situation is producing
- Deteriorating homes and health problems
- The hoarder fails to improve/act on the deteriorating health of the animals or environment
Some cases of animal hoarding won’t be obvious to those around the hoarder. The individuals will commonly be isolated from the community, a lot of hoarders feel guilty and embarrassed about their situation, they will not bring people around to their house and try and hide the situation. These cases can go on for years, with the problem getting worse and worse, multiplying the negative health affects for all those involved (humans and animals).
The people that become animal hoarders do so for a variety of reasons, most linking to mental health problems. Common mental health illnesses associated with animal hoarding are:
- Attachment disorders
More information about understanding the human aspects of animal hoarding can be found research report done by the NCBI site.
Who is Affected by Animal Hoarding?
The majority of animal hoarding cases put the animals involved in a below standard quality of living. According to The Humane Society, 250,000 animals die each year from animal hoarding. The animals involved are often very neglected, not receiving proper nutrition nor veterinary care. The living situation become very unsanitary for both the hoarder and the animals. Its not uncommon in the cases that are investigated for the homes are covered in animal waste and infested with insects or rodents. The infestations are not only a problem for the household, but can spread to the houses around, it is important to note that infestations are very serious problems.
When animals are taken out of hoarding situations, it can put a lot of strain on the local shelter. The shelter receives all these animals (at once) and they will need a lot of care care and medical attention. The animals aren’t ready to be put in homes right away yet, they can get caught up in court cases when the hoarder wants to retrieve all their pets, and in some cases have to be put down (euthanasia) when the cases are stuck in limbo.
Treatment Options for Animal Hoarding
Animal hoarding, like other cases of hoarding, is intertwined with mental illness and must be handled delicately. Professional treatment is extremely important in these cases and the situations need to be handled delicately. It should be noted that in cases of severe animal abuse, animal hoarders can be prosecuted on animal neglect and abuse charges.
Clean Earth Restorations takes these cases and the individuals involved (animals and humans) very seriously. If you need help addressing a situation and do not know where to start please reach out to us. We have a list of contacts for you to reach out to regarding social services and psychological professionals that can help you in your situation. We have handled many cases before and we know how sensitive these situations are, we take the utmost care and treat everyone with the individual care needed. Please give us a call at 619-284-4239 or visit our site cleanearthrestorations.com.