Thursday, August 6, 2009

Animal hoarding called a psychological problem

by: Adam Chodak

GREELEY - The recent case of animal hoarding in Greeley highlights a practice that is often linked to psychological problems, according to animal welfare experts.

The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC), which is linked to Tufts University, has studied animal hoarding since 1997.

The group defines hoarding as the failure to provide proper care for more than the typical number of pets.

In the Greeley case, Timothy Erin Olofson, 38, was keeping more than 102 animals inside a small bungalow.

There were 52 cats, 10 dogs and mix of rabbits, rats and guinea pigs. Police removed the animals Friday.

Though startling, this type of hoarding isn't all that rare.

There are roughly 3,000 to 5,000 reported cases each year, according to HARC. In several cases more than 1,000 animals were seized.

Delving into the psychology behind the phenomenon, HARC concluded that hoarding often derives from a psychological problem developed during childhood..." More & video