Understanding Animal Hoarders
Animal hoarding is a complex and usually misunderstood phenomenon in which individuals collect more animals than they have the mental or physical capacity to care for. This affects dogs, cats and smaller animals such as rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs and a variety of birds, however larger animals have also been known to be involved in hoarding cases including sheep and horses and even cattle. Animal hoarding may be used as a ‘sentinel’ to indicate that children, elders, and dependent adults may be at serious risk of suffering.
Whilst prosecution is important and valid in animal hoarding cases, in order to break the cycle it is vital to understand the underlying psychological illness, and treat it appropriately, as a problem which affects both human and animal welfare. Animal hoarding is responsible for substantial animal suffering and property damage, but it is also representative of, or strongly associated with adult self-neglect and serious psychological welfare needs.
The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC) which was set up in 1997 to better characterise the psychological and sociological underpinnings of animal hoarding; quantify the frequency and outcomes for animals, people, and communities; increase awareness; and develop improved strategies for intervention. In this animal hoarding course, you will learn that there are different types of animals hoarding, but all cases usually involved poor welfare and general neglect. HARC suggest that animal hoarding is defined by four characteristics:
• Failure to provide minimal standards of sanitation, space, nutrition, and veterinary care for the animals.
• Inability to recognise the effects of this failure on the welfare of the animals, human members of the household, and the environment.
• Obsessive attempts to accumulate or maintain a collection of animals in the face of progressively deteriorating conditions.
• Denial or minimisation of problems and living conditions for people and animals.
This Animal Hoardingcourse expores the subject of animal hoarding; gain an understanding about this complex subject and learn how to work effectively with animal hoarders.