I believe that the hoarder may start out as well-intentioned, but quickly becomes overwhelmed, and loses sight of the best interest of the pets, to the point that they don't even accept that there's a problem.
How you Can help Animal Hoarding
What is Hoarding?
Animal Hoarding happens when someone keeps an unusually large number of animals without the ability to properly care for them. The hoarder usually doesn't admit that the conditions are poor and the animals are neglected.
How Can You Tell an Animal Hoarder from an Animal Rescuer
1. Unsanitary Environment--there may be a smell of urine, or feces may not be cleaned up. There may be insects flying around.
2. Pets aren't getting adequate food, water, and medical attention
3. Pets appear sick, malnourished, with parasites, fleas, or wounds
4. Hoarder refuses to acknowledge overcrowded and unhealthy conditions
If You Suspect a Case of Hoarding, How Can You Be the Change for these Animals?
According to the ASPCA :
- Report the Situation - Call your local humane law enforcement department, police department, animal shelter, animal welfare group or veterinarian if you suspect a case of hoarding. You may not want to get the person “in trouble,” but a phone call may be the first step to get them and the animals the help they need.
- Consider both the animals and the individual- While the animals' safety and well being is at risk, the hoarder needs help as well. Your local department of the aging, adult protective services, health departments and other mental health agencies may be able to get the animal hoarder connected to the right services.
- Volunteer to help the homeless animals- With the removal of so many animals from a hoarding situation, the burden on local shelters can be staggering. Volunteer your time to help clean cages, socialize animals, walk dogs and perform other such necessary duties.
- Support local legislation. Laws that recognize hoarding as unlawful with appropriate punishment and mandatory treatment are necessary. Even though hoarding cases exhibit typical characteristics of animal abuse, they are rarely prosecuted because they fail to show the individual's intent to harm.
- Educate others --Help people recognize the signs of hoarding and how they can help.