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How to Prevent Animal Hoarding

Animals  (tags: animals, AnimalWelfare, animalwelfare, habitat, pets, ethics, animalcruelty, animaladvocates, environment, hoarding )

- 2725 days ago -
Hoarding is not beneficial to the welfare of animals and is vastly different from providing responsible care.


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irene davis (74)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 9:36 am


How to Prevent Animal Hoarding

Hoarding and caring for a large number of animals are two different sets of conditions. Many who work or volunteer to care for large groups of animals often stay quiet on the topic of hoarding for fear of being viewed in the same light. Their concern bears merit, as many who do not work or live in this type of environment may perceive only a fine line differentiating the two. However, when we breakdown each of these mindsets it becomes clear that in place of the fine line there is a chasm.

There are several theories about the psychology of animal hoarding. The one constant trait throughout is that a person puts the wants of the self over the needs of the animals. Regardless of the reason, hoarders are people who collect animals as items for their own sense of security, irrespective of the consequences.

There are several easy ways to signify if animals are involved in a hoarding environment.

There are more animals than actual living space. These dwellings are literally overrun with animals and would be construed as having an "infestation" at first glance.
Hoarders do not place a value on training. There may be fecal debris throughout a dwelling or animals that behave in a feral manner.
Look for animals that are underfed, ill, or dead. Hoarders do not put a premium on regularly feeding animals, seeking out veterinary care for the sick, or burying the dead. It is more important for them to have their "collection" than to have concern for their actual condition. As a glimmer into this mindset, the simplest comparison would be to think about dusty knickknacks on shelves.
Hoarders may very well justify their actions under the guise of "caring for animals." Whether a hoarderís mindset rationalizes the behavior in this manner or not, the key component remains that actions speak louder than words. The best of intentions are meaningless unless responsibly acted upon.

Because numerous hoarders proclaim they are caring for animals, people who actually are caregivers feel threatened by the comparison. Media misrepresentation has a lot to do with the misconception. Rarely do media reports give details on a hoarding situation in conjunction with proper care giving. This can leapfrog into a societal assumption that all people housing an abundance of animals are irresponsible. To properly administer care to numerous animals is work, whether compensation is involved or not. The primary difference between hoarding and care giving is accountability.

Successful caregivers have a support network in place. They often work in conjunction with animal shelters or rescue organizations and seek out volunteers.
There is always a veterinarian involved. Ideally, one that is willing to instruct on the fundamentals along the way.
Properly functioning dwellings have a firm and responsible capacity limit. They do not take in animals ad infinitum. The capacity number is not arbitrary and is derived from numerous factors.
The responsible setup for dwellings that regularly take in new animals includes a main area for healthy animals, a quarantine area for new animals, and a sick room that is separate from both.
There are always people around. A caregiverís function is quite different from that of an animal shelter. Whether the caregiverís animals are adopted out or not, basic training to learn how to properly interact with humans is necessary. People who work responsibly with a large number of animals understand that this time commitment is not optional.
It is important to maintain a clean dwelling. There is equally as much work involved in sustaining a clean environment as there is in the actual care and tutelage of the animals. Cleanliness is important to keep perpetual illness at bay. Experienced caregivers understand that cleanliness is not optional.
Many dwellings run on a timetable for feeding, bathing, medications, training, and personal interaction. The animals learn this routine creating a symbiotic relationship.

Caregivers see animals as living beings and not as objects. Many incorporate responsible parenthood skills and techniques as a means of self-discipline. Above all, proper caregivers hold themselves accountable to provide an encompassing quality of life for the animals in their care.

If you suspect animals are kept in a hoarded environment or know a caregiver struggling with the organization of their dwelling, here is further information on How to Help Stop Animal Hoarding.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 9:46 am
knowledge is not power its empowering lets be empowered
an ounce of prevention is worth more then a pound of cure
life has value beyond measure
Peace and Love

Lisa Neste (202)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 9:49 am
Thanks for shedding light on this subject Deb, animal hoarding is quite prevalent in our society, not to mention misunderstood. It is sad for the hoarder as well as the animals.Hopefully with further awareness & understanding we can take steps to prevent these situations in the future.

. (1)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 9:51 am
Noted. Thank you Deb.

Holly Lawrence (430)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 11:46 am
Thanks much for this article .. is sad..

Sally M (72)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 12:05 pm
Good article for people to appreciate and understand the differences between both types of animal people. I know people who do care for a lot of spayed/neutered released cats who have tamed them and the cats now live in and out of their houses..........and they've been accused of being hoarders..not fair. These cats are seen by vets, fed regularly, are clean and healthy and happy....a huge difference.

Nancy Roussy (79)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 12:40 pm
Noted, thank you!

Victoria P (110)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 2:35 pm
Noted with thanks!

MarietteAWAY G (175)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 2:53 pm
Noted. Thanks Deb for sharing!

Shirley S (187)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 7:16 pm
I personally think that "ANIMAL HOARDERS" are MENTALLY UNSOUND people.

Mary T (178)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 7:53 pm
Thanks Deb for sharing.

Kim O (396)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 9:55 pm
Noted! Thanks for the very informative article Deb!!

Vicynthia Tjahjadi (57)
Tuesday January 31, 2012, 11:56 pm
Noted. Thank you, Deb.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday February 1, 2012, 12:28 am
Noted, thanks!

Past Member (0)
Wednesday February 1, 2012, 1:06 am
This is a very important issue. Thank you for bringing it to light.

Virginia Esquer (10)
Wednesday February 1, 2012, 1:23 am
poor doggies, so crowded and also not healthy for their health and well being

Danuta W (1251)
Wednesday February 1, 2012, 1:53 am

Valerie H (133)
Wednesday February 1, 2012, 8:19 am
....thank you, as always Deb for sharing this with us!

Waltraud U (85)
Wednesday February 1, 2012, 9:41 am

Kate A (10)
Wednesday February 1, 2012, 10:50 am
Hoarding isn't beneficial to the animals

jennifer t (41)
Wednesday February 1, 2012, 1:15 pm
Some people try to help animals and are highly compassionate and wonderful animal welfare advocates with the view of saving as many animals lives as possible.There are different categories of hoarders.Not all of them have psychiatric issues.To say this is a very broad genealisation and is very inaccurate

Margo R (14)
Wednesday February 1, 2012, 3:53 pm
Animals need our help and sometimes it is easy to get "carried away"........most hoarders do NOT start out being hoarders. They are only trying to help in any way they can and sometimes things just get out of hand. We trap, spay/neuter, and release cats that are dropped off in the field by us and then we feed them and give them fresh water daily and try to give them love and attention which is what they crave since their inconsiderate and disgusting owners just dumped them. We have socialized many cats. Help is what they need.

Jeanette Steffi G (189)
Thursday February 2, 2012, 4:09 am
Not all hoarders are neglectful and evil as some people brand them as such. Some of them are kind-hearted people who simply want to help animals but end up being overwhelmed with all the animals they take in. While it is noble to save many animals, it is also significant that we take in those we can support so that they don't wind up being crowded and that we do no help them as much as we would like to.


Ruth C (87)
Thursday February 2, 2012, 6:34 am
Its a very difficult situation for the animals as well as for the people involved, I can understand that some people want to help the animals, but if you can't afford to keep so many animals you should not have that many, you need to think about their well being too, it would not be fair to them to have them live in a horrible situation.

Terri Hughes (416)
Thursday February 2, 2012, 7:17 pm
People need to think about the welfare of the animals, before they start keeping more than they can take care of.

Stelizan L (258)
Friday February 3, 2012, 12:01 pm
Sadly 'hoarders' do so irrespective of the consequences - they cannot stop themselves at all! And yes, you get many different types of animal lovers but irresponsible humans are the cause of so many deprived animals!

Nancy C (806)
Friday February 3, 2012, 2:41 pm
Although a hoarder is an animal lover, they love themselves and their desires more so than the needs animals. It's a sad situation when the well-being of any creature is compromised but I can see how it may easily happen. The hoarder is replacing other beings or needs by these poor animals, and/or they need psychological help. We should all learn how to "step in" if we see the signs. See the "How to Stop..." page.

Deb Duxbury (240)
Tuesday February 7, 2012, 8:01 pm
To Rene,

I would like to thank you for reading my article. I would however request that you not copy and paste my article in full. I have no objection to being quoted but would prefer to hear your thoughts and not reread my own. I hope that you found the article useful.

Kindest Regards,

Deb Duxbury
Animal Life Editor

Farah H (154)
Wednesday February 8, 2012, 3:14 am
Noted, thank you

Elizabeth P (99)
Monday February 13, 2012, 12:39 pm
How very sad, People need to get a grip. Noted. Thank you Deb

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 13, 2012, 5:20 pm
Noted. Thanks.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday March 14, 2012, 9:31 pm
Unfortunately the people that hoard anything are mentally inbalanced. It's of course the most sad when they hoard animals. It's not about caring for the animals, it possessing them. Way TOO MUCH of this going on - More family members and friends of these people seem to be coming forward lately to inform about hoarding animals.

Lisa Sears (148)
Tuesday August 7, 2012, 11:18 pm
This is by far the most terrible form of compulsive hoarding. Even children living in hoarded homes [usually] don't suffer as much torture as supposedly "rescued" animals!
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