General public health considerations for responding to animal hoarding cases

Alaska Division of Public Health, Anchorage, AK 99503, USA.
Journal of environmental health (Impact Factor: 0.96). 03/2010; 72(7):14-8; quiz 32.
Source: PubMed


Animal hoarding is an under-recognized problem that exists in most communities and adversely impacts the health, welfare, and safety of humans, animals, and the environment. These guidelines address public health and worker safety concerns in handling situations where animal hoarding or other dense concentrations of animals have caused unhealthy and unsafe conditions. Because animal hoarding situations are often complex, a full response is likely to be prolonged and require a cross-jurisdictional multiagency effort. Each animal hoarding case has unique circumstances related to the types and numbers of animals involved, the physical structure(s) where they are being kept, and the health status of the animals, among other factors that must be taken into account in planning a response. Some general public health considerations and associated recommendations for personal protective equipment use are presented that apply to all cases, however.

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    ABSTRACT: The current study describes isolation of Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) from a juvenile male cat that died after being rescued from an animal hoarding incident. Grossly, there was evidence of pneumonia and renal abscessation. Histologically, there was diffuse interstitial pneumonia with necrosis and necrotizing and suppurative nephritis with colonies of coccobacilli. Within the lung, kidney, and mesentery there was necrotizing and suppurative vasculitis with thrombosis and coccobacilli. E. coli strain belonging to serotype O6:H1 that carried many of the virulence genes associated with ExPEC was isolated from the lung and kidney. The cat was part of a community of approximately 60 cats that lived in a house in a residential neighborhood, in which multiple cats had died. The case was of major significance to public health, as first responders, animal health professionals, and other community members were likely exposed to ExPEC, which is known to have zoonotic potential. It is important that pet owners, animal health and public health professionals, and first responders be made aware of the potential for zoonotic diseases.
    Veterinary Microbiology 08/2013; 167(3-4). DOI:10.1016/j.vetmic.2013.08.015 · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To highlight the characteristics of persons convicted for offences related to animal hoarding in New South Wales, Australia, document the outcomes of cases and compare them with overseas studies.DesignRetrospective case series.Methods Records of finalised prosecutions for offences relating to animal hoarding between 2005 and 2011 were examined. Data recorded included: the age of each subject at the first offence, sex, postcode, occupation, living conditions, number of charges, number of prosecutions, title of each charge, number and species of live animals, whether animals needed veterinary attention, the medical conditions that the animals suffered, whether dead animals were on the property, how animals were obtained, veterinary and legal costs accrued and case outcomes. The data were analysed to obtain frequencies and relative frequencies for categorical variables and summary statistics for quantitative variables. Observed frequencies were compared using Chi-square test with the expected frequencies calculated based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics data for NSW.ResultsThe number of persons included was 29. Most were female (72.4%) and 23 were 40–64 years of age at their first offence. Almost one-third identified themselves as breeders, eight as pensioners and four as unemployed. Most resided in inner regional Australia (45%), 28% lived in major cities and 28% lived in outer regional Australia. Dogs were the species hoarded in 80% of cases. Animals requiring veterinary attention were identified in all cases. Dead animals were found on premises in 41.4% of cases.Conclusions Persons prosecuted for charges relating to animal hoarding in NSW have similar characteristics to those of previous studies, although the outcomes may be different. More farm animals and horses were hoarded in NSW and hoarders in NSW were more likely to live in inner regional and outer regional areas (rural areas) than animal hoarders in the USA.
    Australian Veterinary Journal 10/2014; 92(10). DOI:10.1111/avj.12249 · 1.05 Impact Factor