Animal Hoarding, Facts & Help Hotline

by Mary Haight on June 11, 2011

Hoarders

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Did you know there are around 3,500 new animal hoarding cases every year? Each of those cases affect not only some 250,000 abused, neglected animals and the people collecting them, but also touches families, friends, neighborhoods, and the communities where they occur.
 
At the start of the week, I wrote a post, No-Kill Is No Kill? , answering some questions on that subject, one of which asked whether no-kill was a cause of animal hoarding.  Sara, a researcher for the series Confessions: Animal Hoarding, generously shared useful information and resources in her comment (added below). 
 
Animal hoarding has nearly 100% recidivism without psychological treatment, as Sara mentions, and the Animal Hoarding Project are able to provide treatment for those whose stories they film.  Animal hoarding seems to be rooted in traumatic, abusive, or painful relationships with people, often as children, and as a consequence, hoarders close themselves off from others. Sara offered that tools are available for family and friends to give help to someone who needs it.  Call the number listed:
 
…The [animal hoarding] problem is on the rise and affects communities across America.  If you are concerned about the health of animals in someone’s care and suspect they may be hoarding them, we might be able to help.

Most animal hoarders don’t see themselves as hoarders, and sometimes don’t intentionally collect animals. Their relationship with their animals has threatened their relationships with friends and family.

Most of these situations aren’t dealt with until they become criminal. This results in animals being euthanized by over-stressed shelters, and doesn’t address the underlying psychological issues – meaning nearly 100% of people end up in the same situation again.

We are dedicated to finding comprehensive long-term solutions and believe therapy to be key to this. We can bring in experts to help people and their pets.

If you or someone you know needs help because animals have overrun their life, visit animalhoardingproject to learn more and submit their story. Alternatively, contact me directly at help@animalhoardingproject.com or toll-free at 1 -877-698-7387.

We will treat all submissions with confidentiality and respect.

Animal hoarding is a serious mental illness. This might be the help your friend, family member, or neighbor needs.

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8 comments
Mel
Mel

It appears my comment (from my Blackberry) did not go through, or it has once again been relegated to the spam file, but I wanted to tell you that I loved the interview. I had NO idea that "Animal hoarding has nearly 100% recidivism without psychological treatment." Wow. That's pretty sad. I also didn't know that it was on the rise. I wonder if the fact that our society is so isolated now plays into it? I remember when neighbors knew each other and kept an eye on one another and their kids. Sadly, that no longer exists. It makes me wonder if hoarding is not only a disease, but a factor of loneliness? So sad.

cate
cate

Such an interesting post Mary. I have had conversations with our local rescue about this who have had to sort this problem out on numerous occasions. It's sad, as Bailey has said, I'm going over to the Animal Hoarding Project to take a look, thanks!

Bailey
Bailey

It is sad they cannot understand they are hurting not helping the animals they are collecting. That is at the heart of the problem.

Pamela
Pamela

Thanks for the post. Animal hoarding behavior causes so much suffering for both the animals and the hoarders themselves. I work in a nonprofit agency that serves a number of "object hoarders" but, luckily, no animals (at least not yet). But I'll share the number from the animal hoarding project with our staff person in the best position to spot the behavior. Thanks again!

jan
jan

These cases are so sad. The hoarders don't realize the harm they are doing to the animals they collect and don't seem to notice that there are dozens of animals in serious conditions under their care. So often as you point out, they continue to collect animals because they think they are keeping them out of shelters where they will be killed.

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