Thursday, April 28, 2011

Everything Animals: Animal hoarding

Animal hoarding is a tragic practice and one that's very common.

"They don't see these animals as suffering. They see these animals as things to collect," says Dr. Peggy Larson.

Larson is the former Vermont State Veterinarian. She's also a lawyer who's seen many animal hoarding and cruelty cases cross her desk.

"The hoarder becomes consumed with the animals they're collecting. You can't make them stop. It's a repetitive behavior. They'll collect and collect," she says.

Hoarding of any kind is described as a compulsive need to collect and accumulate things, be it objects or animals, and the inability to throw anything away. While there are different theories as to what causes people to become hoarders, Larson likens it to obsessive/compulsive disorder as well as drug addiction.

"They'll say smaller numbers than what they have, and they'll tell you anything they think they can get by with because they have to protect their addiction."

In the case of Cynthia Erlandsson, the 58-year-old woman who allegedly abandoned 42 cats in her South Ryegate home, Vermont Volunteer Services for Animals director Sue Skaskiw says the state of the house shows Erlandsson is a classic hoarder..." More & video

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