Saturday, June 11, 2011

Animal Hoarding: Indentifying the Disease

The welfare of animals is very important in American society, and American families own more pets today than ever before. According to the 2011-2012 American Pets Products Association National Pet Owners Survey, 62 percent of American households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 million homes. Unfortunately, of those pets there are hundreds of new animal hoarding cases each year.

Animal hoarding is a prevalent topic in mainstream television today due to the popular cable network shows. Even though the public is more aware of this issue, it is still a very cryptic and confusing topic for many to comprehend. The lack of studies and information about this disease make it a hard one to diagnose and treat.

“There have been a variety of definitions for animal hoarding produced over the years, but there are common themes in how it is typically conceptualized,” says Dr. Derek Bergeron, psychologist for Texas A&M University Counseling Services and satellite clinician at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM). “Generally, animal hoarding is indicated by the accumulation of a large number of animals, overwhelming a person’s ability to provide minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, and veterinary care. Typically, failure to acknowledge the deteriorating condition of the animals (including disease, starvation, and even death) and the household environment (severe overcrowding, very unsanitary conditions) is demonstrated. Similarly, there is typically a failure to recognize the negative effect of the collection on the hoarder’s own health and well-being and on the well-being of any other household members.”..." More

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