Seeing a neighbor’s house in a state of disarray can be concerning, but it becomes even more worrying when there are animals involved. Animal hoarding is a serious problem that severely affects not only the pets themselves but also their human counterparts. As a member of your community, it is essential to be on the lookout for signs of animal hoarding. Identifying these signs is critical to help your neighbors get the necessary help to support the animals' health and well-being!
What is Animal Hoarding?
Animal hoarding is a mental health disorder that leads people to collect and keep an excessive and absurd number of pets in their homes, which they cannot properly take care of. The pets may have been acquired passively, such as by taking home strays, or through intentional efforts of achieving substantial ownership of pets.
Over time, the animals end up living in unhygienic conditions, which results in adverse health conditions and sometimes death. Animal hoarders require professional help to address this situation.
Signs of Animal Hoarding
The following are signs of animal hoarding that you should be on the lookout for:
- Multiple animals live in small, unsanitary areas or cages.
- Unhealthy pets with untreated injuries and illnesses.
- Strong smells of urine and feces from multiple animals living together in a confined space.
- An excessive number of pet-related items, such as food and litter boxes.
- Hoarders may be emotionally attached to their pets and unable to part with them.
- Hoarders may deny access to outside help or refuse veterinary care for the animals in their possession.
Common Behavioral Patterns
People with this disorder tend to believe that they are doing a great job of caring for their pets, even though the opposite is true:
- Odors: One of the most obvious signs of animal hoarding is the stench that comes from the house. The homes of hoarders often release unidentifiable smells that come from the accumulation of many animals and their excrement.
- Inconsistent taking and waltzing: Pets that have not been taken out for a walk are already one warning signal of animal hoarders. It is common for animals to be left for days or even longer, resulting in inconsistent taking and waltzing.
- Unhealthy environment: The hoarders’ houses are often packed with stuff, and many times they don’t clean or organize them. This situation results in an environment that is unhealthy, risky, and dangerous for human and animal habitation.
- Neglected or Unhealthy Animals: One of the most heartbreaking signs of hoarding is the collection of animals that suffer from numerous health and well-being challenges. Hoarding conditions like insufficient space, unclean water, and lack of proper care would cause animals to have physical or behavioral problems.
- Visual of animals in windows: Look for pet hoarders who keep most of their animals visible to passersby in the windows or balconies. This habit indicates a genuine affection towards animals, which together with other signs, could show that they have hoarded too many animals than they can manage.
What Can You Do?
If you suspect that someone is an animal hoarder, it is important to take action as quickly as possible. Contact a local animal protection agency such as the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and report your concerns. Animal hoarding is a serious problem and can result in many animals suffering from abuse, malnutrition, and neglect.
These cases must be handled with care and patience, so the hoarder can be given the help they need to take care of all of their animals properly. Animal hoarding is a complex matter and requires additional education, resources, and support for the individual to rehabilitate their home. It may take time for them to make changes, but with help from animal welfare organizations, everything is possible.
Be on the lookout for the signs of animal hoarding and do not hesitate to call Bio-One for help!
Animal hoarding disorder is a sensitive matter that requires a great amount of attention and support from the community. As a neighbor, family, or friend, it's vital not to ignore the signs of animal hoarding; the faster people step in to identify the symptoms, the better.
At Bio-One, we understand that animal hoarding is a matter that requires professional intervention and psychological counseling. Our team of highly trained professionals has vast experience in dealing with animal hoarding scenes. We abide by strict procedures and practices to help address the matter promptly and efficiently while showing empathy to your neighbors. We can confirm that by reaching out at the right time, you’ll be able to reduce the impact of hoarding on your neighbor’s animals and the community's well-being.
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Locally owned, Bio-One of Chula Vista works closely with emergency responders, hoarding task forces, public service agencies, and other organizations to provide the most efficient service possible:
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