Animal Hoarding is a human behavior that involves the keeping of an excessive number of pets without having the ability to properly house or care for them, while at the same time denying this inability. Along with other compulsive hoarding behaviors, it is linked in the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) to obsessive-compulsive disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
According to the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium, the following criteria are used to define animal hoarding:
- More than the typical number of companion animals.
- Inability to provide even minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter, and veterinary care, with this neglect often resulting in starvation, illness, and death.
- Denial of the inability to provide this minimum care and the impact of that failure on the animals, the household, and human occupants of the dwelling.
If you or someone you know has a problem with hoarding please visit the links below for help. Animal hoarding is a serious psychological disease and can be a violation of current animal cruelty laws. Please do not hesitate to get help; your actions will help improve the lives of both the animals and people involved.
- Western Washington Animal Control Phone Numbers
- The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium
- ASPCA - Animal Hoarding
- AnimalSheltering.org Resource Library - A Program of The Humane Society of the United States
- Psychiatric Times - People Who Hoard Animals, April 2000
- Vashon Island Pet Protectors - Animal Tracks: Animal Hoarders