Monday, April 27, 2009

Experts examine cases of animal hoarding

By Katy Moeller - McClatchy Newspapers

"..."I think of these as little animal concentration camps. It's disturbing," said Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, executive director of the Idaho Humane Society. "The animals suffer horribly."...

...Experts say a common misconception about animal hoarders is that they are people who simply took on too much and fell behind, or got overwhelmed, by the care and feeding of the animals they rescued from certain death.

In reality, hoarders compulsively collect animals and/or allow them to reproduce even as conditions deteriorate. They lack awareness and sympathy for the creatures they inadvertently torture in the name of rescue, said the Boston vet, Dr. Gary Patronek.

"This is not about helping animals at all; it's about helping themselves," he said. "It's about helping fill their own bucket of need through animals." Animal hoarding is believed to be borne of mental illness, but there hasn't been enough study of the problem for medical experts to agree on the underlying causes or possible triggers..."  More