Animal hoarding is considered somewhat distinct from “typical” hoarding. The behavior is even more poorly understood than hoarding involving things, is not under the same level of scientific study, and the results more often, even more quickly, come to the attention of government agencies than the results of a person hoarding possessions. Sadly, animal hoarding can often involve incredible cruelty.
Dr. Gary Patronek founded the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium, hosted by Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. It was most active from 1997 – 2006.
You can help if you suspect you know of an animal hoarding situation. Police, housing authorities, humane and rescue societies and other government agencies may all be empowered to investigate cases. The Animal Legal Defense Fund pointed to this fantastic National Link Coalition page which leads to reporting resources across the US. You can donate to the shelters which rescue animals, or foster or adopt a new family member.
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