Animal hoarding or collecting is an obsessive/compulsive disorder in which an individual amasses a large number of animals (sometimes more than a 100); fails to provide for the animals’ most basic physical and social needs, including food, water, shelter, veterinary care, and sanitary living conditions; and is usually in extreme denial about the abysmal living conditions of their animals, and dwelling. Often this neglect results in the animals’ starvation, illness and death. Hoarding, technically, can be considered a crime, as it is a form of neglect.
Animal hoarding involves having an atypical number of companion animals (cats, dogs, rabbits, etc) and being unable to provide for the basic needs of those animals, while being in denial of this lack of ability to provide for those needs and of the impact it has on the animals and the household. Someone who has 25 cats and doesn’t feed or clean them but who considers herself a good pet owner would be an example of a pet hoarder.
Animal hoarding is when a person adopts more pets than they are able to take care of, leading to cases of starvation and neglect. Often hoarders tell themselves they are “rescuing” needy animals even though they lack the resources to provide for them — they rationalize their behavior by telling themselves that nobody else can take care of their pets. This differs from more straightforward cases of animal abuse in that hoarders don’t seem to be aware of the suffering they are causing their pets.
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