Monday, March 8, 2010

General public health considerations for responding to animal hoarding cases.

Author:Castrodale, Louisa; Bellay, Yvonne M.; Brown, Catherine M.; Cantor, Fredric L.; Gibbins, John D.;
Date:Feb 27, 2010
Publication:Journal of Environmental Health


Animal hoardingis an under-recognized problem that exists in most communities and adversely impacts the health, welfare, and safety of humans, animals, and the environment. Animal hoarding is defined by four characteristics (Patronek, Loar, & Nathanson, 2006):

* failure or inability to provide animals minimal standards of sanitation, space, nutrition, and veterinary care;

* inability to recognize the effects of this failure on the welfare of the animals, human members of the household, and the environment;

* obsessive attempts to accumulate or maintain a collection of animals in the face of deteriorating conditions; and

* denial or minimization of the problems and living conditions for people and animals. Most hoarding cases involve private individuals who claim ownership of numerous animals in a single rented or owned facility. In some cases, established shelters, rescue no-kill groups, or puppy mills may create a physical setting that mimics a hoarding situation.

The management of recognized animal hoarding situations should be well planned, interdisciplinary, and handled by trained personnel. People may encounter risks while on a premises evaluating or responding to issues caused by animal hoarding itself or the animal hoarding may be an incidental finding during a visit for another purpose. Anyone aware of serious animal hoarding situations should report them to local animal control or public safety authorities for appropriate coordination, investigation, and follow-up. Remediation is extremely difficult and rarely successful in the long term. The multifaceted nature of these situations, refractory behaviors of individuals involved, unclear criteria about animal cruelty, and privacy and personal property rights can be major obstacles to permanent solutions. A complete discussion of remediation is beyond the scope of this article...."

Preparing for a Response
Health and Safety Considerations
Disease Exposure
Air Quality
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Read the entire report/thesis here