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Animal Hoarding

The COH Site does not focus in detail on the complex issue of Animal Hoarding, but we offer the following links to learn more:

The Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine has the Center for Animals and Public Policy. They have a very informative resource that is a gathering of articles from the
Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC).

Animal Hoarding News & Info
Focusing on the latest news & information on Animal Hoarding and the overall issues and problems of hoarding. Very inclusive source of information.

Three Stages/Types of Animal Hoarding

This is about the PEOPLE who do the hoarding.
Written by Gary J. Patronek, VMD, PhD:

1) Overwhelmed caregiver

  • Some awareness, more reality-based
  • More passive acquisition
  • Problems triggered by change in circumstance
  • Unable to problem-solve effectively
  • Animals are family members
  • Likely to be socially isolated
  • Self-esteem linked to role as caregiver
  • Fewer issues with authorities

2) Rescuer hoarder

  • Mission leading to unavoidable compulsion
  • Fear of death
  • More active vs. passive acquisition
  • S/he is the only one who can provide care
  • Rescue-followed-by-adoption becomes rescue-only care
  • May have extensive network of enablers or group
  • Not as likely to live with the animals

3) Exploiter hoarder

  • Tends to have sociopathic characteristics
  • Lacks empathy for people or animals
  • Indifferent to harm caused
  • Rejects outsiders’ concerns
  • Superficial charm and charisma
  • Lacks guilt /remorse
  • Manipulative and cunning
  • Adopts role of expert with need to control


Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC)
Animal Hoarding:  Alone in a Crowded Room
Report: Structuring Interdisciplinary Responses to Animal Hoarding, by HARC
Animal Hoarding News & Info., Facebook Group
Animal Hoarding Yahoo Discussion Group
What caseworkers need to know
Humane Society of United States
Public Policy
Resource Manual
The challenge of animal hoarding
Tips for families and friends(pdf)
Community task force
Pilot project for social workers
Excuses and justifications offered by animal hoarders(pdf)
Tips for veterinarians(pdf)
Tools for therapists
Long-term outcomes in animal hoarding cases(pdf)

Animal Hoarding Crisis Intervention

    • The Tufts University

Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC

    • ) is compiling a list of people who specialize in animal hoarding crisis intervention. One counselor available at present:

Fee-for-Service Consultations– Long distance telephone consultation services provided (or available) for out-of-state clients or organizations. Contact: jnncnslt@aol.com or (617) 325-4828

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