Animal hoarding is an obsession that is growing in victims and recognition throughout the world today. The typical animal hoarder has a serious psychological condition called obsessive compulsive disorder. Animal hoarders also may be suffering from different kinds of addictions, delusional disorder, attachment disorder, dementia, and even zoophilia. These people feel they have the responsibility to keep and care for an overabundant amount of animals, thinking that they are helping these creatures. In reality, these pet owners are only putting their animals through abuse and neglect because it is impossible for them to provide the proper care for such a large number of pets. These owners are not only harming their animals with
…show more content…
Hoarders may also suffer from delusional disorder and dementia. Dementia is a loss of contact with reality including symptoms such as memory loss, impaired judgment, loss of communication skills, paranoia, and hallucinations (HelpGuide, 2010). Animal hoarders specifically may also suffer from a bizarre obsession called zoophilia in which they are sexually attracted and attached to their animals. All of these illnesses are very disturbing and serious and their combination with OCD results in this strange hoarding behavior. It is likely that up to a quarter million animals—250,000 per year—are victims of hoarders (Dogtime, 2010). Animal hoarding cases are growing exponentially through the recent years. An especially impressive case of hoarding is the case of Barbara Erickson who had 552 dogs removed from her residence in Harper, Oregon. Barbara and Robert Erickson face 551 misdemeanor charges of animal neglect and one charge of felony criminal mischief.
The dogs were suffering from malnutrition, various illnesses, and neglect and about 20% percent of the dogs died (Arluke, 2009). This shocking case can be seen repeated over and over again on the new series Animal Cops on Animal Planet (Animal Planet, 2010). On the show the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in different areas is constantly confronting new cases of neglect and abuse including some very impressive hoarding