Animal Hoarders: They Are Not Criminals

Stickers, coins, memorabilia – these are some common stuff that a person who enjoys collecting gathers. Why do they collect such things? Simple, they feel gratification in doing such habits. They find the simplest joys whenever another piece is added to their collection. This is normal when it comes to collection.

However, hoarding is another story. Unlike people who collects stuff who only keeps those that are appealing and useful for their collection, people who hoard cannot distinguish the different between the two. They keep everything within their reach even if it is useless.

So what about those animal hoarders? They are similar to other hoarders, only that they hoard animals; cats, dogs, birds, and other kinds of animals. Freaky as it may seem, they find gratification and their anxiety is relieved when they do this.

There is a particular law that tackles about animal abuse and maltreatment and this is indeed punishable. While many people perceive animal hoarding as something that breaks the law, the matter of fact is that, it isn’t. Animal hoarders do not maltreat the animals they collect; in fact, they have the noblest motives of collecting them – that is, providing shelter, food and family to these animals that they consider family/friends.

However, since animal hoarders usually have too many animals hoarded, they fail to provide the necessary care all the animals need such as food, clean shelter, water and vaccinations for certain diseases that animals could bring to humans; so the end result is, both (animals and the hoarder) become a threat to each other.

So should animal hoarders be charged guilty for hoarding animals they cannot take care? While most people believe that they should, animal hoarding is a psychiatric disorder that needs proper medical and personal intervention. Since the hoarder is most likely unaware that his habit has become a hazard to people around him and himself, a professional help (if the family cannot handle the problem any longer) is required.

Most animal hoarders get attached to their animals to much that they do not dispose of them or bury them when they die. And you will see that similar to other hoarding disorders, the house of the animal hoarders if literally filled with animals including their wastes, food and dirt. You can just imagine how that smells!

But regardless of these hoarders condition, they shouldn’t be treated as outcasts or worse, criminals by the society, simply because they are not. These people need the support and help they could get from love ones and family.

Every hoarder has a deeper underlying reason for his action, and an important part of his treatment is to understand the reason for his or her hoarding disorder. Most people, who hoard animals, find comfort in the fact that those animals are there for them as companions. The best intervention you can give to your loved one who has this disorder is to give them the assurance that the family and you are there for him/her and that animals are not needed to keep him/her company.

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