Thursday, February 2, 2012
By: Anne Williams
Animal hoarding is often misunderstood and can be difficult to treat, according to Jane Nathanson, a counselor and consultant for human-animal health and welfare in Boston.
Nathanson, who provides counseling and court-ordered assessments for animal hoarders and their families, said animal hoarding represents itself in a variety of ways and is not defined as one person having many animals.
Overwhelmed caregivers, people who feel the need to rescue animals, people who keep animals to serve their own needs and those who start breeding animals, but have difficulty maintaining proper care, are among those who can be considered animal hoarders, she said.
“I find there a number of psychological factors or conditions that contribute to animal hoarding behavior,” Nathanson said. “In the context of the law, it is considered animal hoarding. But the psychology of it is not animal hoarding. There are underlying factors..." More