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What is Animal Hoarding?

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Definition: Hoarding - What is Hoarding?

Animal hoarding is the keeping of a large number of pets, beyond the person's ability to care for the animals properly. Hoarding is usually defined by three characteristics:

  • 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; and
  • 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.

It is unclear whether hoarding is a mental illness in itself, or a symptom of a mental illness or condition such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or dementia.

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Also Known As: collecting
Examples:
A woman hoarding dozens of cats in her home was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after neighbors complained of the stench.
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