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"People Who Hoard Animals"- Psychiatric Times article

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posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 07:13 PM
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This article is years old but I like the subject.

I myself have known a couple of cat ladies , just like in The Simpsons...but if I describe their characteristics to you you will think I'm making fun of them, but all I want to do is show some characteristics (seemingly) of the type: never leaves the house except to go shopping at about three in the morning, matted hair, avoids eye contact, gives off a smell of cat urine, always wears long dresses even when it's hot and when you look down you see cat hair stuck all around the hem of her dress where it just scrapes level with the floor...

And then there was that women had 1500 ferrets contained in her condo in Ogden, in wire cages stacked up to ceiling height...(And it's a lot of work to keep even one ferret from stinking, you couldn't stop 1500 ferrets from stinking even if you used a firehose..."There's just not enough hours in the day"...it must have severely detracted from the resale value of her condo..."Had to have that unit cleaned and burned"...but I digress).People Who Hoard Animals - by Randy Frost Ph.D. - Psychiatric Times

Over 600 animals were found in the home of a Los Angeles woman, arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty. Some of the animals were already dead and some so ill they had to be euthanized by Animal Services. The woman insisted the animals were well-cared for and her home was clean, despite physical evidence to the contrary. She refused to voluntarily surrender the animals to animal control. Her fear? They would be euthanized. This woman could be described as an animal hoarder ...

Sixty percent of the hoarders studied were repeat offenders ...

It may be that the mere sight of an animal in need of a home prompts an emotional attachment so powerful that the animal must be acquired...


[edit on 25-8-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]




posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 07:58 PM
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There are so many stories of people like this, where the poor animals are so abused by neglect they are close to death or dead, or severely suffering. It breaks my heart. Luckily, some are rescued and find good homes after, but many do not. Animals have feelings too. Some people are lonely and they collect animals, some genuinely care about animals but have too many to properly care for them. Their standards of care are not enough to keep the pets healthy and happy. Some have animals and are just cruel and neglectful. In any case, if anyone sees such abuse, please report it. Speak for the innocent animals who cannot speak for themselves.

I have rescued many animals in my lifetime. I have kept some and found homes for others. if it was a wild animal, an injured bird or something, I would care for it and then release them back into the wild.

Currently I only have one cat, a rescued deaf white persian with big blue eyes, and a rescued aquatic turtle. I adore animals!
Thanks so much for making this thread as it is an important issue. Star and flagged my friend.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 08:06 PM
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Just ewwwww!! I love critters...but ewwwwwww! I have one little dog in the house "Manpanties". He goes out to play and do his business and even then he is sometimes a chore, especially trying to keep his hair cleaned up off the furniture, I could not imagine have so many!!!



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 08:50 PM
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I have the unfortunate pleasure of living under one of these women. She at one time had 35 cats and a dog. Now she has 17 cats and 1 dog. The place REEKS!!!! I never see her take out cat litter or bring in cat litter. We use the same garbage can I she never put out garbage. I can't move and I have called animal control. They came out once and gave her a warning and gave her two weeks to clean it up in June. They never followed up. I called two weeks ago they came out and just asked her how many cats she had. (They never even came close enough to the house to get a whiff) She told them she had four cats. They told her they had a complaint and apologized for bothering her. It is a duplex and she owns it. I have complained to her to no avail. I am really at a loss as to what to do. I have two cats who I take care of better than most children, so I just don't understand how she can stand it.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 08:56 PM
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It's so awful... I do believe that places from where animals are adopted should follow up with the family to make sure that the pet is in a good home.

These stories are ridiculous, from a psychological perspective, a zoological perspective, an ethological perspective.... just awful. For those animals.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 08:59 PM
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Animals is probably the worst thing a hoarder can fixate on, those afflicted can collect all sorts of things, sometimes its just junk in general, i read of one man who collected newspapers. You could barely navigate around his home for the piles of papers tied with string and stacked floor to ceiling.
Hoarding animals in such numbers is doubly sad

Im lucky enough to own a reasonably large place in a rural setting, so i can have animals, and also enjoy the wild animals that drop in like the woodland ducks that have been using the front lilly pond lately

i cant drive past an injured animal and not stop, and all my local vets know me

Had this bold creature say hello a few days ago while i was feeding the chooks



i30.photobucket.com...

Animals should collect people, not the other way round

[edit on 25-8-2009 by Ashtrei]

[edit on 25-8-2009 by Ashtrei]



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 10:02 PM
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Originally posted by Pinkarella
I have the unfortunate pleasure of living under one of these women. She at one time had 35 cats and a dog. Now she has 17 cats and 1 dog. The place REEKS!!!! I never see her take out cat litter or bring in cat litter. We use the same garbage can I she never put out garbage. I can't move and I have called animal control. They came out once and gave her a warning and gave her two weeks to clean it up in June. They never followed up. I called two weeks ago they came out and just asked her how many cats she had. (They never even came close enough to the house to get a whiff) She told them she had four cats. They told her they had a complaint and apologized for bothering her. It is a duplex and she owns it. I have complained to her to no avail. I am really at a loss as to what to do. I have two cats who I take care of better than most children, so I just don't understand how she can stand it.


Yeah, the garbage taking out bit is right...so does she shop at 3 A.M....and when you talk to her, it's as if one of you is not really there...not mean but abstracted or scatterbrained or scatty?
Does she play Doris Day music, or some one favorite repetitively, with no eye to context? Is her TV always turned on max, or is her place always very quiet?



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 11:08 PM
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reply to post by Greenize
 

You call your dog Manpanties?

Justice will find you. A terrible reckoning awaits.



posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 02:26 AM
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reply to post by Pinkarella
 


Try contacting your local humane society, or animal shelter. You will probably get more help from these places than you will from animal care. You can also call the police department, tell them that you called animal care twice and they aren't doing anything to remedy the situation and ask them how to handle the situation.



posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 08:29 AM
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reply to post by chise61
 


I live in Atlanta in Fulton County. The first three times I called in June was the city. They sent the guy out that issued the warning who never followed up. The next time I called was a few weeks ago and it was the Atlanta humane society. They were the ones who just came to the fence and asked her how many animals she had and she told them she had 4 cats. I have had to make the calls anonymously since I can't really afford to get evicted. I can only hope now one of the neighbors gets involved and calls. I am trying to save up and move but I am really concerned for the cats. I love animals very much.



posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 10:11 AM
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My mom has a bunch of cats, but it started with one wild cat... and well...you know how that goes. She lives on a farm. They aren't in the house. She gives them left overs and buys a little cat food to get them by..but they hunt for their own food too.

They hang out on the deck. Leave kill on the deck for each other. It seems pretty normal compared to a friend of theirs in Montana who has stray bears on the deck. They feed some of those bears by hand.

I think these people somehow relate more to animals than people, and think that they can control having this "family" somehow. I think they know it isn't right and feel guilt, but are to controlling and selfish to let them live the proper way.

Sometimes I think it is not good to have pets, but then we are "socializing" them in ways that may matter in the future.

There are always going to be extremes in behavior.



posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 10:35 AM
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Here is a new paper from Clinical Psychological Review on the same subject, A Theoretical Perspective to Inform Assessment and Treatment Strategies for Animal Hoarders, written by Gary J. Patronek and Jane N. Nathanson.


Animal hoarding is a poorly understood, maladaptive, destructive behavior ... Throughout life, there is a persistent struggle to form a functional attachment style and achieve positive social integration. For some people, particularly those affected by a dysfunctional primary attachment experience in childhood, a protective, comforting relationship with animals may form an indelible imprint. In adulthood, when human attachment has been chronically problematic, compulsive caregiving of animals can become the primary means of maintaining or building a sense of self ...

"My sister fits the profile of a hoarder who is close to a major meltdown. She has about 80 dogs, 13 cats, puppies, pregnant dogs, a house in disarray, a severe recurrent depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, a borderline personality disorder, and our family is at the end of energy and resources." ...

From a population perspective, animal hoarding directly affects at least 3000 persons per year ... Analysis of records in one on-line national database of animal cruelty cases indicates a five-fold increase in reports of animal hoarding cases from 2000 to 2006 ...

Women are disproportionately overrepresented in animal hoarding, accounting for 76% of 54 cases and 83.1 percent of 71 cases in two different case series ...

Squalor is often a prominent feature of animal hoarding ...

Animal hoarders are typically socially isolated, living alone, unpartnered, and often estranged from family ... In our experience, the behaviors, values, feelings and expressed thoughts of animal hoarders are entirely consistent with their self-perception as caregivers ...

Those interviews revealed that animals were particularly important as twinship selfobjects, a finding quite uncommon in human relationships. A twinship selfobject is described as providing a relationship that is intensely intimate, with shared understanding as a soulmate and a feeling of oneness. Furthermore ... a twinship selfobject should have a soothing effect essential to "repairing an injury to self-esteem." The explanation offered for this effect was that animals were intensely focused on the person, adept at reading non-verbal cues, unable to judge, criticize or give advice, and could not disagree with a person's interpretation of how they feel or what they want ...

Complicated grief is a pathological grief reaction distinct from a normal bereavement reaction, having symptoms resembling post-traumatic stress disorder, and often associated with extreme fears of abandonment. By taking advantage of animals' ability to provide unconditional love, some animal hoarders appear to become enmeshed in a pattern of complicated grief, in which the animals serve a path, albeit a futile one, towards healing.


Other good parts of the article address the role of trauma in the onset of animal hoarding as a precipitating factor, as well as comparing the animal hoarders with hoarders of inanimate objects, and examining the correlation and/or coincidence of animal hoarding with (the group of) personality disorders and with dissociation (invoked to explain why the hoarders don't detect the animal excrement pile-up and the dead and suffering animals).

Basically, to my eye, this article makes animal hoarders sound like sweet people who have been having a bad life and are just looking for love where it seems like they can find it...(sounds like a lot of people I know,yes)...Of course their overall strategy is ineffective, the appeal and continuation of the project can only be sustained through a stunning lack of insight, and the whole thing can only turn out badly...(which again would also be true of a lot of the sex and/or love and/or religion and/or business and/or dope and/or politics projects that non-animal-hoarding-persons/four-out-of-five-dentists would recommend as being better than ninety-six kittens)... (but I know, I'm overlooking the nonfunctionality, these animal hoarders are even more non-functional than average persons, yup-yup).

I am reminded of the quote from Gurdjieff, "Practice love first on animals, they are more sensitive." (from here).

[edit on 27-8-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]

[edit on 27-8-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]

[edit on 27-8-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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reply to post by nine-eyed-eel
 

Yeah, so I was trying to find the citation for the example I referenced in the OP, of the Ogden woman with 1500 ferrets in her condo...But I did not find it, the case that I came up with was in the town of Layton (close to Ogden) and only involves 267 ferrets, not 1500...but the time period is right, and it was a woman with ferrets in her condo (how many of those could there be, right?), so I must have been inaccurate, and thus I must retract those inaccurate remarks in my OP, which do not have any bearing on this following woman... Hoarding 267 ferrets


The fight between Jen Morrison and those agencies confiscating her animals ended Thursday when a 2nd District Court judge fined Morrison $500 and placed her on probation.
Judge Michael Allphin Thursday ruled Morrison was in violation of five different zoning and city ordinance laws by housing 261 ferrets at her Layton condo ...
The condo doubled as Morrison's Ferret and Reptile Rescue Sanctuary, a non-profit state-registered sanctuary established in 1985.
After neighbors had complained to authorities about the smell, Layton City Police, the Division of Wildlife Resources and Davis County Animal Care and Control officers on September 7 2001 broke down the door of Morrison's condo, confiscating 261 of the 267 ferrets on the premises, closing the sanctuary.
Morrison was able to keep six ferrets because of a Layton City ordinance allowing six exotic pets per household.
Layton City prosecutor Kris Neal said Allphin suspended $3,750 in fines against Morrison on the condition she pay $500 in fines and meet a 12-month probation.
The probation agreement includes no longer operating the sanctuary at her condo and agreeing to allow animal control officers an inspection of her place providing they give a four-hour notice, she said.
The agencies, however, did return to Morrison last week a pet tortoise they confiscated. They were concerned it was a desert tortoise, which appears on the federal endangered species list. Wildlife experts later determined the tortoise was not a desert tortoise and therefore one of the initial charges against Morrison was dropped.
Morrison views the reduced charges and the return of her tortoise as evidence she had done nothing to deserve having the back door on her home broken down. "They had nothing against me. It was really wrong what they did," she said.
Neal said Morrison was initially charged with eight Class B misdemeanors, but went on trial on six amended infractions. She was found guilty of five of them.
The infractions against Morrison were household pet violations, zoning district violations, no city-issued business licenses, maintaining nuisance animals, and having no county animal control permit.
The judge found Morrison not guilty of a rabies vaccination violation.
Morrison claims the only reason she was fined was so the state, county and city could recoup some of its cost in confiscating her animals.
Animal Care and Control Director De Anne Hess referred to Morrison as "a collector." "It was a dwelling intended for people, not 261 ferrets," she said.
After they were confiscated, the ferrets were held at the county animal shelter for several days until they could be farmed out to licensed out-of-state animal sanctuaries ...
Neal said the city believes Morrison cares for animals, particularly ferrets, and believes she felt she was doing something good. "But the volume is not something that one woman can handle," she said.
The conditions of Morrison's condo, Neal said, threatened the building's sanitation. Neal said she is pleased to see the judge held Morrison responsible in ensuring it doesn't happen again.
"The city doesn't believe she is a bad person," Neal said.


The above emanates from the searchable animal cruelty database at www.pet-abuse.com, which, if you have the stomach for it, has some interesting features, such as, you can specify a search for only hoarding cases, or only cases where the abuser is a public servant, or only cases where the abuser works in animal welfare, or where the case also involves child or elder neglect, cases only involving pit bulls, cases involving bestiality, et cetera and so forth.






[edit on 27-8-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]

[edit on 27-8-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]

[edit on 27-8-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]




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