What is Animal Hoarding?
For some people, their multiple pet environment crosses over into something dangerous: animal hoarding. I’m not talking about the person who has a large pet household and all the animals are thriving and healthy, but rather, the person who has a large number of animals and the environment is unhealthy and unsafe. Hoarding isn’t about a person who rescues animals and is unaware that they’re getting in over their head – hoarding is about a psychological condition. Hoarding is animal abuse. The animals live in unhealthy and stressful conditions. Although any animal could be hoarded, cats and dogs are more commonly the victims.
Hoarders truly believe they are helping the animals and it’s very common for them to also think they’re the only ones capable of providing care. They don’t see the conditions in which they live as unhealthy or unsafe. Hoarding requires professional intervention, therapy and in many cases, anti-depressant medication.
How Do You Know if a Person is a Cat Hoarder?
Can the person no longer cover the veterinary expenses?
Have family members or neighbors expressed concern about the number of cats?
Is there a strong ammonia smell in the home?
Are there signs of feces, vomit or urine on the floors and carpets?
Are there signs of rodent and/or insect infestation?
Does the occupant of the home seem unaware of the number of cats they have?