After spending some time reading and watching countless episodes of A&E’s “Hoarders” as well as TLC’s new version “Hoarding: Buried Alive” I have been able to understand more about people who hoard animals.
Animal Hoarding is when a person collects animals whether horses, goats, dogs, cats or even birds in excess. The average family that may own a few animals. People who hoard animals DO love them all as their own. It becomes a difficult task though to feed and maintain the animals and thus diseases are spread, there is contamination, property becomes destroyed, infestation of rodents and insects occur and of course animals begin to die.
Animal hoarders do not see anything wrong with what they are doing. They believe they are doing a good deed by caring for animals others have discarded and do not want to see the animals put to death or suffer by going without food. There are some who do realize that their animal hoarding has spiraled out of control but do not know where to turn. Many people are still uninformed about animal hoarding and want to “throw the book” at a hoarder immediately. Basically, the hoarder may be scared, concerned, ashamed of their hoarding that they may not do anything to alleviate the issues until they have no other choice but to make changes.
The animal hoarder can be any age though many of them are up in age, perhaps in retirement. At this time the hoarder may feel this is the only thing they have to really live for. It gives them purpose to do something good for someone else.
When an animal hoarder is confronted by the authorities and forced to clean up their property, remove the animals and/or face criminal charges, it can be devastating to them. They feel as if their sense of purpose is being taken away from them. For some it may feel as if they have no other reason to live.
Like with any other hoarders, the animal hoarder may or may not be living alone. They may feel alone but find a sense of comfort in collecting items. In this case it’s animals. Animals give the hoarder attention, don’t argue or talk back nor criticize like another human being would.