Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Animals in the House: Animal Hoarders Ð Do You Know Any?


At the Northwest SPCA and most other animal shelters, we frequently receive dogs and cats that were seized by authorities. While cruelty cases involving animals who were outrageously abused or tortured are usually the only ones that make headlines in newspapers or on the Internet, we receive far more animals from cruelty cases that involve animal hoarding. These stories rarely make headlines, unless the number of animals involved number in the hundreds.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classifies animal hoarding with other compulsive hoarding behaviors and links it to obsessive compulsive disorder. An animal hoarder is described as someone who has more animals than they can adequately care for, while denying that inability.

Generally, hoarders strongly believe they are doing what's best for the animals in their care; they may have a strong conviction that they are saving the animals' lives — even if there are starving, fatally ill, or dead animals among the population of animals in their homes or on their property.

Many if not most animal hoarders were, at one time, well-meaning and capable animal caretakers, who provided excellent food, veterinary care, and housing for their pets. Some actually start out saving animals lives as providers of last-resort sanctuary for unwanted animals..."  More

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