Some of us may know a “cat lady”, who seems to have dozens of cats in her house and continue to receive new ones regularly, not counting new kittens that born every month. In some cases, these individuals are animal hoarders who inadvertently maim and even kill their pets. In the United States, thousands of new pets hoarding cases are discovered each year. Often, these people cause the suffering of their pets, although that’s not their true intention.
At the moment, pets hoarding is still a poorly understood phenomenon and this could happen when people with intense love for animals continue to obtain more pets and they don’t know when and how to stop. In some communities, animal hoarding can be a problem, especially if the owners are overwhelmed and their pets continue to cause local disturbances. In some cases, pets hoarding is not about love towards animals, but more about desire to exert controls to other beings.
Despite their genuine, good intention; pet owners who have accumulated many pets could begin to get overwhelmed. They may fail to provide proper standards of veterinary care, sanitation and nutrition. The condition of the animals could deteriorate; causing starvation, malnutrition, diseases and deaths. The extremely unsanitary conditions and severe overcrowding could also affect other members in the family, such as spouses and children.
Pet hoarders often don’t look much different compared to ordinary people. In public, they could represent themselves as productive and valuable members of society. Despite the degradation and filth of their house, they somehow manage to take good care of their appearance, resulting in polished social images. Hoarders simply need companionship in home and a desire for control. Despite the presence of many animals in their houses, the death of a pet could cause intense grief-like reactions. As a result, pet hoarders could misidentify their grief as a sign of compassion to their pets, although it isn’t always true. Hoarders are typically overwhelmed with their animals and they may not have enough space and money to provide proper care. In general, pets hoarding can be seen as a form of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).
In this case, we may see pets hoarding as a kind of passive cruelty towards animals. Although hoarders believe that they profess immense love for their pets, the actual condition in their house is nothing short of cruel and barbaric. Their homes are typically unsanitary and cluttered with traces of faces and urine in the interior. Fleas and other parasites may have invaded their surroundings for years. In fact, rotting corpses of their pets could be left unattended, making their houses look like an actual concentration camp for pets.
Pet hoarders are more likely women, who are solitary and older. They began the habit by having a single pet and continue to add more. These hoarders could also be unemployed, retired and disabled. In this situation, it is important for family members and neighbours to report to the authority to deal with the situation directly.