Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Elders Hoarding Animals Need Help

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an article, dated December 10, 2007, entitled "Animal hoarders proving difficult to contain", by Linda Wilson Fuoco, which highlighted a significant problem. 

The article mentioned a profile of an "animal hoarder": a person over 60 years old who lives alone & has very little income, but who keeps multiple pets in an unhealthy environment. 

What is "animal hoarding", and how did this profile evolve? 

Wikipedia describes "animal hoarding" and its negative health effects, as follows:

[T]he “pathological human behavior that involves a compulsive need to obtain and control animals, coupled with a failure to recognize their suffering,” is the cause of many severe health risks that threaten the hoarded animals, individuals living in hoarding residences, and surrounding neighbors.
In addition, it implicates a variety of mental health issues. The health effects of animal hoarding are widespread and detrimental to all involved. * * *
Hoarding is certainly detrimental, even fatal, to the animals kept under control. Pet-Abuse, a website dedicated to the interests of companion animals, notes the harsh realities for pets subjected to "Animal Hoarding" (using language that may be repugnant to some):