The psychology of animal hoarding

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by gritsar, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    I understand that animal hoarding has at its foundation a mental disorder, but I still can't get my head around the idea. What would make someone who would otherwise seem to be a functioning member of society repeatedly do something that flies in the face of common sense?

    I love animals. I have the room for many animals, but common sense dictates that I can't just acquire animals willy nilly without first considering a few things.

    Just as an example - We are currently considering a horse. Before I can even begin to think about actually bringing a horse home, I have to think about a few things:

    Can I afford vet care for the horse? Farrier fees too.

    What is it going to cost me to feed this horse every month? Can I afford it?

    Where will this animal be housed?

    Am I physically capable of caring for the horse? Who will care for the horse when I am sick?

    How will my other pets be affected by the addition of a new family member?

    I consider these things and many others before I even get to the point of looking for the pet. The questions are much the same no matter what type of animal I am considering - dogs, cats, (more) chickens, rabbits, you-name-it. They all have needs that must be considered if I going to be a responsible pet owner. I consider these needs - vet care, food, housing, daily care and love, interaction - to be the very basics. Of course depending on the type of animal the needs vary from the example I gave, but all animals have needs that must be met.

    So what makes someone throw away their common sense and hoard up animals that they cannot provide the basics of care for? Anyone ever known a hoarder and have insight as to what caused their obsession to hoard in the first place?

    Please note: I am interested in enlightening discussion. It is not my intention to flame anyone nor do I want to be flamed. If flaming is your intention, please take it somewhere else. [​IMG]
     
  2. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    I read somewhere that many hoarders were abused as children. They feel safe with animals and want to rescue them all, since no one rescued them when they needed help. I don't think anyone knows for sure what causes it though.

    Here's some good info on Wiki about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_hoarding
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
  3. EmtheFishLady

    EmtheFishLady We're all mad here

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    I have noticed they tend to rationalize the behavior. The animal wasn't being taken care of where it was...they need it to serve some sort of purpose...etc.
     
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    You are absolutely right Gritty.
    I think animal hoarders don't or can't feel empathy for the animals. They are self absorbed and narcissistic. It's about them and their selfish needs.
    I would love a dog, but I recognize that I would not be a great dog owner, nor would a dog fit into my home and other pets, so I choose to not get one.

    Imp
     
  5. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    Imp is brilliant.

    Common sense and mental disorder, they are just not a 'hand in hand' kinda deal.
    Imp klunked that one right on top of the head. wow.
    He must stay up late reading things... or we have the same mother. [​IMG]

    And not just pets, mail, clothes, plastic cream cheese containers... it is not a common sense sort of conundrum. There is just something wrong.
     
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Most of them seem to think that no one but them is capable of giving the animals, birds, whatever critter it is the correct care.

    In reality the opposite usually becomes true after they've accumulated so many animals they can neither care for them or feed them properly, but they don't see that.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I had read that. I must say though I do have a problem with claiming abuse as a child as an excuse for anything. I was abused as a child in every way you can think of to abuse a child. My siblings were too, to some extent. I don't mean to speak ill of the dead, but only one of my step-siblings clung to the excuse of being abused as a child as justification for her actions as an adult. Me? I say build a bridge and get over it. What's in the past should stay in the past.
     
  8. EmtheFishLady

    EmtheFishLady We're all mad here

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    Quote:Exactly. You put on your big kid hat and act like an adult. Life sucks. Get over it.
     
  9. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    Quote:I had read that. I must say though I do have a problem with claiming abuse as a child as an excuse for anything. I was abused as a child in every way you can think of to abuse a child. My siblings were too, to some extent. I don't mean to speak ill of the dead, but only one of my step-siblings clung to the excuse of being abused as a child as justification for her actions as an adult. Me? I say build a bridge and get over it. What's in the past should stay in the past.

    yeah but some people can't do that. Child abuse affects some kids differently than others. Some children are strong and become even stronger as adults, and some kids are broken (mentally) by it and never recover. The ones who are broken end up with all sort of mental issues. Mental illness is a bad, bad thing. It's not something that you can just get over or be made to see the "error of your ways". I am not saying that being an abused child excuses ANY bad behavior! Most Serial killers and child molesters were abused as children but that certainly does not excuse them either! I am just saying that child abuse is behind a lot of the evil that we see in this world.
     
  10. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I groomed dogs for years and on many occasions met hoarders. It would just burn me up when they would call the animal rescued from a bad home because they would have upwards of 30 dogs themselves. Most of these people did not have the means to care for 5 dogs less more 50, alot of them were in bad health themselves and trying to keep up with the financial expense of dog care.They were feeding cheap food (sometimes scraps from the meat markets) and home grooming/ vetting these animals. The worst thing was they just could not seem to find good enough homes for these dogs(cats too) so they ended up just keeping them forever. Try I did but I just could not see where they were doing these animals any favors by rescueing them.
     

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