Animal Hoarding

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.

Sign Up for PAWS E-newsletters!

Contact Information

* denotes a required field

Which regular PAWS Newsletters would you like to receive?

Please check all that apply

E-mail this Page

E-mail this Page

Like what you see? Send a link to this page via e-mail. We respect your privacy. Neither you nor your friend will be added to PAWS’ mailing list.

Security Code

Thank you!

Your message has been sent.

Note: We will do our best to respond to your email on the next weekday. For an immediate answer, please give us a call.


I'm sorry, your message was not sent. Double-check your security code. If this error persists, please contact us at (425) 787-2500 or

Fatal Error

I'm sorry, there was a fatal error sending your message. We cannot process your request at this time. please contact our support team at (425) 787-2500 or