While there is nothing like the love and companionship of having a pet, some take this pet ownership to an extreme that actually endangers the pets.
Animal hoarding is defined as the accumulation of a large number of animals; failing to provide minimal
standards of nutrition, sanitation and veterinary care;and failing to act on the deteriorating condition of the animals, the environment, and their own health.
Hoarders justify their behavior with the view that the animals are surrogate children and that no one else can care for them. They harbor a fear that if they seek help, the animals will taken away from them. Tragically, studies show that animal waste and garbage covered the floors and furniture in more than 75 percent of animal hoarders’ homes, and many of the animals they hoped to save have such life-threatening illnesses, they have to be euthanized. And, 60 percent of animal hoarders lived with deceased pets in their residence, creating a hazardous health situation for themselves and the public.
The reasons why people hoard animals are varied. Depression, obsessive/compulsive disorder and other emotional concerns are frequently cited by experts as the cause for this behavior.
If you suspect a case of animal hoarding, do the right thing for the owner and the pets in the home. Call Pinellas County Animal Services or local law enforcement and explain the situation. Your action may very well save the lives of the animal hoarder and the pets living in the home. You can spot the following signs: More than the typical number of companion animals.
Inability to provide even minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter and veterinary care, with this neglect often resulting in starvation, illness and death.
Denial of the inability to provide this minimum care and the impact of that failure on the animals, the household and human occupants of the dwelling. In Pinellas County, animal hoarding is considered to be a form of animal cruelty.
Return to top