Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Animal Cruelty by Another Name: the Redundancy of Animal Hoarding Law

Jason E. Schwalm, University of Louisville


Animal hoarding – the practice of collecting a large number of animals but failing to provide them with adequate food, water, shelter and sanitation - presents unique challenges to the legal system. However, in all but a few states, a general anti-cruelty provision is used to prosecute animal hoarders. Some legal scholars have proposed the adoption of specific anti-hoarding statutes. These statutes are meant to address the failure of anti-cruelty laws to effectively punish animal hoarders and deter further hoarding behavior. Instead, legislatures should ensure that existing anti-cruelty statutes effectively address hoarding behavior, by amending the required level of intent, and by ensuring that courts and law enforcement officials are equipped to address the psychological dimension of hoarding behavior.

Read the entire paper here

Suggested Citation

Jason E. Schwalm. "Animal Cruelty by Another Name: the Redundancy of Animal Hoarding Laws" The Journal of Animal and Environmental Law 1.1 (2009): 32-60.