Friday, July 24, 2009

The Mysteries of Animal Hoarding

By:  Ransom Riggs

Maybe you’ve heard stories about a “crazy cat lady” that lives down the street: the stereotypical older, single woman with fifty cats; so many that they’re mangy starving, and yet she considers herself the Mother Theresa of the animal kingdom. While there are plenty of examples that follow that model, hoarding is by no means limited to cats, nor old ladies, for that matter. (Here’s a story about a Texas man who hoarded cats he got via “free kitten” ads in the newspaper — and when that didn’t net enough animals, he resorted to outright theft.) There have also been reports, according to the BBC, of dog hoarding, a woman who kept pigs in her Los Angeles home, and “a Connecticut woman who hoarded beavers she had shipped from Montana.” I blogged last year about a Russian woman with more than 120 cats in her home — check out the amazing video.

We know these cases exist — what psychologists don’t understand, however, is where the compulsion to hoard animals comes from..."  More