Even though animal hoarding often begins with a love for animals, the fact is animal hoarding is a type of abuse. Hoarding is the excessive accumulation of animals until it interferes with daily living. People who hoard animals become unable to take care of their home, health, family, and social lives. The animals are kept in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and neglect in the form of lack of proper food and nutrition, veterinary visits, and hygiene are examples of what animals in these situations go through.
Study results show that 76% of animal hoarders are women and 46% are sixty years old or older. Most animal hoarders previously worked in caring or teaching professions. Hoarders are not evil people; their love for animals simply goes too far. Some even try to “fix” broken human relationships by having animals instead, but it doesn’t really fix the problem.
Hoarders need help.
The average number of animals taken from hoarding situations is 39. When this many animals live in one home, even minimal level of care standards can’t be maintained. The neglect of animals in hoarding cases can result in animal starvation and the worst case scenario is the death of animals. What’s worse, because the increase in the number of animals often happens gradually, the hoarder gets gradually used to the decline in cleanliness in the home, and the animals take over spreading food, waste, and dirt everywhere.
If you know of or suspect animal hoarders in your neighborhood, animal rescue circle, or family, you should seek help from mental health agencies, veterinarians, and animal welfare groups. Most hoarders cannot see or will not admit that they have a problem.
If you think you know someone in a hoarding situation, don’t wait! The animals need saved and the hoarder needs help.