Some have tons of trash in their home. Some have no bed on which to sleep or no kitchen in which to prepare decent meals. They are extreme hoarders.
Imagine a home so loaded with possessions and trash that rescue workers can’t make their way in without drilling a hole in the roof. Or having to crawl through self-made tunnels to move around your own house.
That is the grim reality for hoarders — people who accumulate possessions and/or trash and cannot bring themselves to part with anything. Exact numbers are unknown, but it is estimated that up to 1.2 million people in the U.S suffer from compulsive hoarding.
Hoarding takes many forms, from the collection of newspapers and magazines to what most of us would consider to be garbage, with piles of boxes, bags, collectibles, trash, and stuff… accumulating and spreading throughout the home and property.
Hoarding can result in health problems as well as family tension and estrangement.
The Humane Society reports that each year, almost 250,000 animals are victims of animal hoarding. The Society differentiates animal hoarding from other types of animal abuse by the fact that the perpetrators don’t always recognize the cruelty they are inflicting on the animals — they usually believe they are rescuing or saving the animals and are unaware of the filth and odor.
Unfortunately, these animals suffer from neglect, starvation, and unsanitary conditions. Often, deceased animals are found among the living animals, encouraging insect and rodent infestations. These conditions also threaten the health of the human occupants of the home. It is not uncommon for these homes to be condemned by the health department.
Next: Hoarders on Reality TV… teachable moments or exploitation?