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This study aimed to characterize the sociodemographic profile of animal hoarders in a southern city of Brazil. In addition, it aimed to propose Animal Hoarding Disorder as a new nosological category, distinct from Hoarding Disorder. Thirty-three individuals with animal hoarding disorder, 73% female and 60% elderly, composed the sample. The average age of the sample was 61.39 years (SD = 12.69) and the average period that individuals hoarded or lived with a large number of animals was 23.09 years (SD = 15.98.) It was observed that 56.7% of the sample hoarded other inanimate objects, besides the animals. The total number of hoarded animals was 1.357 and the average number of animals per hoarder was approximately 41 (SD = 24.41). Significant differences between hoarding disorder and animal hoarding are discussed. Unlike hoarded objects, hoarded animals generally do not obstruct domicile environments. The processes of disengaging from or donating animals also differ from those of object hoarding, since there is an affectional bond with lives and not with unanimated objects. In this sense, the characterization of Animal Hoarding Disorder as a new mental disorder may arouse great interest from both clinical professionals and researchers.
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Psychiatry Research
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Animal Hoarding Disorder: A new psychopathology?
Elisa Arrienti Ferreira
, Luis Henrique Paloski
, Dalton Breno Costa
, Vânia Saretta Fiametti
Camila Rosa De Oliveira
, Irani Iracema de Lima Argimon
, Valéria Gonzatti
Tatiana Quarti Irigaray
Postgraduate Program in Psychology of School of Humanities, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Av. Ipiranga, 6681, Building 11, 9th
oor, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Department of Psychology, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre (UFCSPA), Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Department of Psychology, Faculdade Meridional IMED, Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Animal Hoarding Disorder
Diagnostic criteria
This study aimed to characterize the sociodemographic prole of animal hoarders in a southern city of Brazil. In
addition, it aimed to propose Animal Hoarding Disorder as a new nosological category, distinct from Hoarding
Disorder. Thirty-three individuals with Animal Hoarding Disorder, 73% female and 60% elderly, composed the
sample. The average age of the sample was 61.39 years (SD = 12.69) and the average period that individuals
hoarded or lived with a large number of animals was 23.09 years (SD = 15.98.) It was observed that 56.7% of
the sample hoarded other inanimate objects, besides the animals. The total number of hoarded animals was
1.357 and the average number of animals per hoarder was approximately 41 (SD = 24.41). Signicant dier-
ences between hoarding disorder and animal hoarding are discussed. Unlike hoarded objects, hoarded animals
generally do not obstruct domicile environments. The processes of disengaging from or donating animals also
dier from those of object hoarding, since there is an aectional bond with lives and not with unanimated
objects. In this sense, the characterization of Animal Hoarding Disorder as a new mental disorder may arouse
great interest from both clinical professionals and researchers.
1. Introduction
The main characteristics of Hoarding Disorder are considered a
possible symptom of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), according to the
fourth revised version of DSM, part of the chapter of Anxiety Disorders
(American Psychiatric Association, 2002). With the publication of the
DSM-5, OCD was removed from that group and became the protagonist
of a separate chapter. Then, it became a separate nosographic entity,
entitled Hoarding Disorder(HD), which is included in this new sec-
tion entitled Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Related Disorders.
The main characteristics of Hoarding Disorder are the diculty in
disposing objects and suering associated with their discard.
Animal Hoarding is characterized as a special manifestation of HD
(American Psychiatric Association, 2014) and a psychopathology with
signicant impact on the functioning of individuals (Svanberg and
Arluke, 2016). The rst scientic reports of people living with many
animals appeared in 1981, with the researchers Worth and Beck (1981).
These authors denominated these individuals as owners of many ani-
mals, describing them as low-income people who lived alone in
unhealthy conditions. A large number of animals occurred due to
constant collecting, uncontrolled reproduction and the inability of in-
dividuals to donate them (Worth and Beck, 1981).
Patronek (1999) was the rst researcher to propose diagnostic cri-
teria for individuals who were denominated as animal hoardersand
presented this condition as a public health problem. The researcher
characterized these individuals as people who: 1) hoarded a large
number of animals; 2) failed to provide minimum necessary conditions
for nutrition, sanitation, and veterinary care; 3) failure to act on ani-
mals deteriorating state or on the negative eect of hoarding on their
own health and well-being and the health of other family members.
Over the years, researchers have dened animal hoarding according
to the criteria of Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC),
created in 2002 in the United States of America (Joe et al., 2014;
Ockenden et al., 2014; Reinisch, 2009). The diagnostic criteria of HARC
(2002) observed the same criteria proposed by Patronek (1999), with
the addition of a criterion that refers to the inability to recognize the
negative consequences of hoarding.
Hoarding Disorder is considered a complex phenomenon that causes
problems of public health and legal impasses (Bratiotis et al., 2011).
Received 26 January 2017; Received in revised form 8 August 2017; Accepted 15 August 2017
Correspondence to: Ipiranga Avenue, 6681 Partenon, Building 11, room 939, Porto Alegre, RS 90619-900, Brazil
E-mail address: (T.Q. Irigaray).
Psychiatry Research xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx
0165-1781/ © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Please cite this article as: Ferreira, E.A., Psychiatry Research (2017),
The interest of the scientic community about the characteristics of this
psychological condition is evident since several documentary studies
developed in dierent countries have been published (Frost et al.,
2015). However, the current scientic literature presents a lack of
empirical studies on the phenomenon of animal hoarding (Saldarriaga-
Cantillo and Rivas Nieto, 2015; Steketee et al., 2011).
The present study aims to characterize the sociodemographic prole
of individuals who hoarded animals in Porto Alegre. In addition, it
discusses and presents specic diagnostic criteria for Animal Hoarding
Disorder, opening the discussion about the possibility of a new psy-
chopathology distinct from Hoarding Disorder, with specic diagnostic
2. Method
2.1. Design
This is a cross-sectional and exploratory study.
2.2. Participants
The sampling process was for convenience, the Municipal
Secretariat for Animal Rights (Secretaria Municipal dos Direitos dos
Animais - SEDA) of Porto Alegre - a municipal agency whose purpose is
to establish and execute public policies for health, protection, defense
and animal welfare. A survey of potential hoarders residing in Porto
Alegre was performed. SEDA identied 75 cases of potential animal
hoarders in the city of Porto Alegre. From there, the information about
these individuals was available to the researchers.
Between August 2015 and May 2016, the researchers visited 75
houses where 48 individuals were contacted. In other 27 houses, the
contact was not even possible. In 14 houses the residents were not
found, even after two visits on dierent days. In other 13 residences,
the individuals were not living in the area. After the research pre-
sentation, only 38 individuals agreed to participate. We included the 38
individuals who agreed to participate in the study and fullled all the
inclusion criteria established by the exploratory strategy. These in-
dividuals were preliminarily identied by SEDA and were within the 75
constituent cases of the target population. It should be noted that those
individuals who had the following conditions, which interfered with
interviewing and testing, were excluded: communication problems,
auditory and visual problems that were evaluated in the initial dialo-
gues of the approach, from the lling of the Sociodemographic data
Participants should ll the diagnostic criteria of DSM-5 (American
Psychiatric Association, 2014) for Animal Hoarding Disorder to be in-
cluded in the research: (1) hoarding of many animals; (2) failure to
provide minimum standards of nutrition, sanitation, and veterinary
care; (3) failure to act on the deteriorating condition of animals (in-
cluding disease, hunger or death) and the environment (e.g. over-
population, extremely unhealthy conditions).
All individuals who agreed to participate in the survey also allowed
veterinarians to assess the health status of the animals. Among the 38
individuals evaluated, three of them did not ll the criteria necessary
for the diagnosis of Animal Hoarding Disorder, since the animals were
in good nutrition and general health conditions. The environment was
also in good condition, including sanitation. In addition, individuals
provided minimal veterinary care and recognized the diculties due to
a large number of animals. One participant was excluded for presenting
speech impairment, which was impossible to collect data and another
participant who presented the diagnosis of schizophrenia, which is an
exclusion criterion (American Psychiatric Association, 2014).
2.3. Instruments
2.3.1. Sociodemographic data sheet
included the following variables: age, sex, marital status, education,
housing situation, relatives or support network. History of physical and
mental illnesses, health perception, current occupation, number and
species of animals in the residence, period in which individuals started
to hoard animals and if other objects were hoarded were also in-
2.3.2. Semi-structured interview
characteristics of individuals with hoarding disorder were in-
vestigated, such as: How many animals do you have at home? When did
you start having animals in your house? Why do you collect animals?
Who buys animal food? Who supplies the house? Are the animals ca-
strated? What was the last animal adopted? How old are the animals?
Do animals have names? What care and activities do you usually do
with animals? What is your favorite animal? Do you collect/store
anything (building material, etc)? When do you need help, who can you
count with? Is it common for people in your community to leave pets in
front of your house? and Do you usually go to parties, lunches, etc?
2.3.3. Report of veterinarians
a report for each residence visited was provided by the veterinarians
of Special Secretariat for Animal Rights (SEDA), which evaluated the
health conditions of the animals.
2.4. Procedures for data collection
The project was approved by the Ethics Committee of PUCRS (CEP -
PUCRS) under the CAAE: 44489715.8.0000.5336. Contacts were made
with the participants through home visits and the participants signed
the Informed Term Consent (Termo de Consentimento Livre e Esclarecido -
TCLE). Participants individually answered the assessment tools, which
was approximately one hour and thirty minutes long. The evaluations
were conducted by the project coordinator and the auxiliary team,
formed by psychologists and psychology research interns, previously
trained to assist in the application of the instruments and the interview.
Visits to the houses of the potential hoarders were accompanied by a
veterinarian and a SEDA supervisor. The Promotoria do Meio Ambiente
do MPRS oered transportation for the researchers, by prior appoint-
ment, to have access to residences of the participants.
The instruments were applied inside the houses visited or inside the
vehicle available by the Public Ministry of Rio Grande do Sul, when
there were not physical and sanitary conditions for conducting the
evaluative process in the residences. During the evaluation of the par-
ticipants, animals were examined and treated by veterinarians, who
produced formal reports informing about the animal and the environ-
ment conditions, which were also used to produce this article. Animals
identied in need of specialized treatment or castration were removed
to a veterinary hospital when the hoarder allowed.
2.5. Procedures for data analysis
The data were organized and analyzed in a bank, created in the
program Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS, version 17)
for Windows. Data were described by absolute (n) and relative (%)
frequencies for qualitative variables, and by average and standard de-
viation for quantitative variables.
3. Results and discussion
3.1. Characterization of hoarders
The nal sample was composed of 33 animal hoarders. The average
age of the individuals in the sample was 61.39 years old (SD = 12.69)
E.A. Ferreira et al. Psychiatry Research xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx
and the average period of animal hoarding or living with a great
number of animals was 23.09 years (SD = 15.98). It was observed that
56.7% (n= 18) of the individuals in the sample hoarded not only
animals, but also inanimate objects. 73% (n= 24) perceived them-
selves as healthy and 63% (n= 21) reported some type of health
problem. Further sociodemographic information may be found in
Table 1.
The total number of animals was 1.357, presenting an amplitude of
03101 animals in the sample, composed of 915 dogs, 382 cats, and 50
ducks. The average number per hoarder was approximately 41 animals
(SD = 24.41) and only 22% (n= 7) of the participants had all animals
castrated. Most castrations were made by Special Secretariat of Animal
Rights. The prevalence of hoarded dogs was found in other studies
(Calvo et al., 2014).
Regarding gender, the datum found was that approximately 73% of
the individuals were females. This prevalence was found in other stu-
dies (Joe et al., 2014; Saldarriaga-Cantillo and Rivas Nieto, 2015;
Svanberg and Arluke, 2016). Under this perspective, there is the hy-
pothesis that animal hoarding may be related to the female gender.
In this study, the predominance of elderly (64%) was found. This
result corroborates the information found in DSM-5 (American
Psychiatric Association, 2014) and in empirical studies about the dis-
order (Saldarriaga-Cantillo and Rivas Nieto, 2015;Steketee et al., 2011)
which present a prevalence of elderly individuals with animal hoarding.
However, the individuals start hoarding animals before old age, still in
adulthood. In this study, the average period of animal hoarding was
23.09 years (SD = 15.98). This datum may infer that as the hoarder
grows older, the number of hoarded animals may increase and symp-
toms of this disorder may be aggravated (American Psychiatric
Association, 2014). The characteristics of aging are responsible for
changes in the lives of individuals, such as impairment in support
network (Irigaray et al., 2016), which may justify the search for ani-
In terms of years of education, it was observed that the animal
hoarders had an average number of 9.39 years of study (SD = 4.40),
and only four had a college degree. In two studies made with animal
hoarders in the international context, it was veried that hoarders had
more years of education than the hoarders of this sample (Patronek,
1999; Steketee et al., 2011). In addition to that, a prevalence of in-
dividuals who had an income of 0102 minimum wages was veried in
the sample. The poor education and low income found may be asso-
ciated with the fact that these individuals were recruited by an in-
stitution which primarily assists low-income individuals, the SEDA.
However, the income is not a variable which denes the disorder since
two hoarders who had an income of more than six minimum wages per
month were found.
Regarding marital status, it was observed that most individuals did
not have a partner and lived alone. This nding is corroborated in
previous studies, which hypothesized that the lack of personal re-
lationships is related to signicant diculties in social abilities. In this
sense, living with animals would provide emotional comfort to hoarders
who present diculties in aective relationships (Steketee et al., 2011).
The therapeutic interventions with this population are complex due to
this decit in the support network, which suers great impairment.
3.2. Perspectives of a new disorder
The most recent edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders (DSM-5) of American Psychiatric Association (2014)
characterizes Hoarding Disorder as a psychopathology distinguished by
the compulsion of possessing and diculty of discarding objects, ob-
structing and disorganizing the environment. These diagnostic criteria
are not explained by any other medical condition or mental disorder,
and this behavior is followed by suering or signicant impairment in
global functioning of the individual and/or of a third party.
Classied as a special manifestationof Hoarding Disorder (HD) in
DSM-5, animal hoarding is dened in the manual by the following
characteristics: (a) great number of hoarded animals; (b) negligence in
providing minimal patterns of nutrition, sanitation and veterinary care,
and (c) failure in act on deteriorating conditions of animals and the
environment. It is common that animal hoarders also hoarded in-
animate objects, however, in comparison to those who only hoarded
objects, animal hoarders present a poorer ability of insight and live in
more unhealthy environments (American Psychiatric Association,
In addition to describing sociodemographic data of hoarders, this
study also proposed that animal hoarding must be described as a new
psychopathological disorder with specicities which imply a distinction
of this new condition from Hoarding Disorder. This proposal is based on
empirical data of the study and literature review. The sample studied
presents characteristics which suggest that this disorder must be per-
ceived as a new nosographic category. The excerpt from DSM-5 states
that most individuals who hoarded animals also hoarded objects
(American Psychiatric Association, 2014, p. 249). Data from the clinical
interview highlighted that approximately 50% of individuals from the
sample that was investigated do not hoarded objects. This nding, as-
sociated with a literature review, sets a precedent to the discussion of a
new nosographic category.
In relation to the level of insight, the DSM-5 highlights that animal
hoarders possess poor insight. However, 27% of individuals from this
sample reported diculties due to hoarding, which reveals a preserved
level of criticism or, in other words, great capacity of insight, dierent
from the denition proposed by DSM-5 (American Psychiatric
Association, 2014).
Concerning diagnostic criteria, congestion of rooms in the dom-
icile,which is a characteristic of Hoarding Disorder, an incompatibility
with Animal Hoarding Disorder is observed. In Animal Hoarding
Disorder, the congestion is not a mandatory aspect, unlike inanimate
objects which are hoarded statically, there is mobility of the living
beingswho are hoarded Animals, when they are not conned, transit
and do not obstruct areas in the domicile (Frost et al., 2015).
Concerning the act itself, there are dierences between discarding
or donating objects and animals. Inanimate objects do not require at-
tention, and animals demand constant care, even if the hoarder is only
capable of oering basic care. It is hypothesized that this process of
carefrom the hoarder to the animal may favor the creation of a bond,
which may contribute to the diculty of hoarders in donating their
animals (Nathanson, 2009; Reinisch, 2008).
Under this perspective, after the presentation and discussion of ar-
guments favoring a creation of a distinction between Animal Hoarding
Disorder and Hoarding Disorder, the authors suggest particular
Table 1
Sociodemographic characterization of Animal Hoarders (n = 33).
Variables Category n%
Gender Female 24 73
Male 9 27
Marital Status Divorced/Widowed/Single 29 88
Married/common-law married 4 12
Education Illiterate 1 3
1 to 8 years 12 36
9 to 12 years 13 40
13 to 16 years 7 21
1 to 2 minimum wages 25 76
3 to 4 minimum wages 3 9
5 or more 5 15
Reside with Alone 17 52
Relatives 14 42
Others 2 6
Occupation Retired / Pensioner 20 61
Working 13 39
1 Minimum wage refers to R$ 788.00/month.
E.A. Ferreira et al. Psychiatry Research xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx
diagnostic criteria to Animal Hoarding Disorder, as a part of a new
diagnostic category entitled Animal Hoarding Disorder, which is de-
scribed in Fig. 1.
This study revealed the presence, in only 33 residences, of ap-
proximately 1400 animals. Most animals live in precarious situations,
without minimum sanitary and veterinary care conditions. In addition,
dramatic situations such as violent ghts for territory, extreme mal-
nutrition, cannibalism, caged animals injured and untreated, were ob-
served in most of the houses visited. The predominance of the sample
was individuals who received up to two minimum wages. Also, in-
dividuals who did not present conditions to propose improvements for
the environment and for stressed animals. Once they could not realize
real conditions due to poor or lack of insight, characteristic of the
disorder. Even when assistance is oered to improve the environment
and animal health such as treatment and castration, without any cost,
the individuals do not accept it.
It is expected that the characterization of Animal Hoarding Disorder
as a new mental disorder can bring visibility to this condition and
greater interest of both clinical professionals and researchers. It may
also lead to greater investment in specic interventions for this dis-
order, which causes serious damage to the environment, suering for
individuals, their families, and the animals. New empirical studies are
Fig. 1. Animal Hoarding Disorder diagnostic criteria created by autors.
E.A. Ferreira et al. Psychiatry Research xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx
suggested to investigate this mental disorder in the national and in-
ternational context and collect information that may contribute to the
consolidation of this new nosological entity. Another eld that requires
research is therapeutic intervention since the presentation and results of
specic interventions for Animal Hoarding Disorder has not yet been
found. The presentation and results of interventions specic to Animal
Hoarding disorder have not yet been found.
The existence of only two empirical studies to discuss the results are
highlighted as a limitation of this study. It is defended the need to
construct other empirical studies in to rene the diagnostic criteria of
this psychopathology and enable the constant update of classication
manuals. Such renement may facilitate the construction and in-
vestigation of specic therapeutic interventions, which may help to
address this issue.
American Psychiatric Association, 2002. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders (DSM-IV), 4th ed. Author, Washington, DC.
American Psychiatric Association, 2014. Manual Diagnóstico e Estatístico de Transtornos
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Bratiotis, C., Schmalisch, C.S., Steketee, G., 2011. The Hoarding Handbook: A Guide for
Human Service Professionals. Oxford University Press, New York.
Calvo, P., Duarte, C., Bowen, J., Bulbena, A., Fatjó, J., 2014. Characteristics of 24 cases of
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Nathanson, J.N., 2009. Animal hoarding: slipping into the darkness of comorbid animal
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E.A. Ferreira et al. Psychiatry Research xxx (xxxx) xxx–xxx
... Die durchschnittliche Anzahl der gehaltenen Tiere liegt statistisch zwischen 39 und 105 (Ferreira et al., 2017;Sperlin, 2012). Am häufigsten werden Kleintiere wie Hunde, Katzen oder Nagetiere gehalten. ...
... Unabhängig von der gehaltenen Tierart besteht die Tendenz die Anzahl aktiv (Tiere kaufen) oder passiv (unkontrollierte Vermehrung) zu erhöhen (Dozier, Bratiotis, Broadnax, Le & Ayers, 2019;Polanczyk et al., 2015). TH kann als dimensionale Erkrankung mit verschiedenen Ausprägungsgraden verstanden werden (Ferreira et al., 2017). Zuerst entsteht bei einem gewöhnlichen Tierhalter der Wunsch mehr als ein Tier zu besitzen, insbesondere bei Tieren, die auch in der Natur in Gruppen oder Rudeln leben (d' Angelo et al., 2020;Ramos, Cruz, Ellis, Hernandez & Reche-Junior, 2013). ...
... Schwere und Ausmaß sind schwer vorhersagbar (Berry et al., 2005;Ramos et al., 2013;Ung, Dozier, Bratiotis & Ayers, 2017). In vielen Fällen finden sich vor dem Beginn der TH ein plötzlich auftretender Stabilitätsverlust bestehender sozialer Strukturen oder negative Life Events (Ferreira et al., 2017;Nathanson & Patronek, 2012). Trotz persönlicher Einschränkungen können Betroffene mit TH diese über eine lange Zeit verbergen und teils geregelten Tagesaktivitäten, beruflichen oder privaten Verpflichtungen oder sozialen Vereinsaktivitäten nachgehen, wobei sie Kontakte nur außerhalb oder online pflegen (Mataix-Cols et al., 2010;Patronek, 1999;Strong et al., 2019). ...
Pathologisches Horten von Tieren wird als Tierhortung oder Tier-sammelsucht (englisch animal hoarding) bezeichnet. Ausser kontrollierenden Maßnahmen werden vorwiegend verhaltenstherapeutischen Methoden in Anlehnung an etablierte Behandlungsempfehlungen verwandter Erkrankungen empfohlen. Dieser Artikel beschreibt neben Psychopathologie, Epidemiologie und Verlauf der Erkrankung den Zusammenhang zu anderen psychiatrischen Krankheitsbildern. Fachpersonen haben teils Vorurteile oder sind wenig vertraut mit Tierhortung, da Betroffene aufgrund fehlender Krankheitseinsicht oder aus Scham keine Hilfe suchen. Eine gute Vernetzung der verschiedenen involvierten Fachbereiche und weitere Forschung wären wünschenswert.
... As individuals who are 60 years or older are considered elderly in Brazil, the percentage (57.97%) of people in this age group was higher in this study than in the previous studies pertaining to animal hoarding. Another study conducted in Brazil also found the predominance of elderly people in animal hoarding cases [30]. This result could be attributed to the lack of family or public assistance when symptoms of hoarding behavior begin or a lack of early identification of possible cases, as the symptoms may have begun in childhood and adolescence and become more severe as age increases [29]. ...
... The education level most reported herein was up to middle school (63.76%) ( Table-1), which is equivalent to 8 years of education in Brazil. Similar results were found in another study in Brazil [30]. Studies in other countries found that the average education was 12 years (high school) in New York [31], 17.8 years in Boston [26], 17-18 years in Italy [16], and individuals with a university diploma in London [17]. ...
... Furthermore, the income of animal hoarders tends to be more concerning as it is also used to purchase animal feed. A previous study demonstrated a high prevalence of low income (1-2 MW) among animal hoarding cases in Brazil [30]. This finding leads to economic concerns for the diseased, marginalized, and unassisted population [11,17]. ...
Full-text available
Background and aim: Hoarding cases have not been researched in depth in developing countries, such as Brazil. This study aimed to describe the characteristics of people with hoarding behavior in Curitiba, Brazil. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted based on complaints about hoarding situations received by the City Hall. The data on sociodemographic, income, and environmental characteristics of individuals displaying animal and object hoarding behavior were obtained and analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple correspondence analyses. Results: Out of the 113 hoarding cases reported, 69 (61.06%) were fully assessed. Most of the participants (43; 62.32%) were women, and it was observed that most of the animal hoarding cases were women (p=0.02). The average age was 62.47 years old, and most of them (44; 63.76%) had studied up to the middle school level. People associated with object hoarding belonged to the lower income category (p=0.031). In most cases, the homes had an unpleasant odor (45; 65.21%), and this was prevalent in cases involving women (p=0.004) and animals (p=0.001). The risk of fire (24 [34.78%]) and landslip (9 [13.04%]) was more frequent in the case of object hoarding (p=0.018 and 0.021, respectively). Conclusion: The description of characteristics of individuals with hoarding behavior may assist in understanding the magnitude of this public health problem in Brazil and shed light on the need to develop studies on the health conditions of people and animals that live in these situations.
... The studies tend to outline AHD as a chronic disorder which progressively deteriorates (Calvo et al., 2014;Ockenden et al., 2014). It initiates around middle-age (Arrienti et al., 2017) and the highest incidence rate of the disorder is around 55 years old, with the severest symptoms. According to research, the average age for animal hoarders is between 50 and 60 (Min: 49.7; Max: 61.4) with a weighted mean of 55.6 (SD = 3.4) ...
... Impairment of activities of everyday life (e.g. sleep, nutrition, hygiene) is common (Arrienti Ferreira et al., 2017;HARC, 2002;Reinisch, 2009). Moreover, there is little or no insight about the disorder in half of the cases (Dozier et al., 2019;Patronek, 1999). ...
... Complaints from neighbors are common and usually justified on the grounds of the unsanitary conditions as well as animal cruelty (Berry et al., 2005;Joffe et al., 2014;Ockenden et al., 2014;Patronek, 1999). It has been informed that animals were frequently confined in cages, makeshift crates or specific rooms inside the property (Arrienti Ferreira et al., 2017;Elliott et al., 2019), although acts of aggravated cruelty upon animals were not as frequent (Joffe et al., 2014;Ockenden, 2014). ...
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Animal Hoarding Disorder (AHD) is a recently acknowledged psychiatric syndrome regarded as a form of Hoarding Disorder. Despite its great complexity, AHD has been underestimated both within and outside the academic community. This systematic review of the literature will assess some features to give a description of the syndrome. We have selected 26 empirical investigations which have been analyzed for such purpose. Moreover, we have estimated the mean values of some variables such as age (55.6 years old), gender (74.9% women), households (51.8% single-person), unemployment (53.6%), number of animals per case (64.1), presence of dead animals (32.9%) and object hoarding co-morbidity (59.5%). Results will be discussed to highlight AHD particular features, the need for an integrated view around the One Welfare concept and the need for an interdisciplinary approach. Given its complexity, we recommend acknowledging AHD as a separate nosographic entity.
... Animal hoarding cases have already been described in several countries, such as Australia [10,17], Brazil [3,5], Canada [23], United States [4], Serbia [14], Spain [2] and United Kingdom [11]. Due to the occurrence of this disorder in different cultures, Lockwood [12] suggests that biological factors may contribute to a predisposition for this behavior. ...
... According to Paloski et al. [18], some psychological and behavioral characteristics are more present in this population: impoverished insight, difficulties in donating animals and organizational deficits. Regarding animal hoarder profile, there is a prevalence of women and the elderly, mostly without partners [5,18]. ...
... Recent studies also discuss the possibility of a division between animal hoarding disorder and object hoarding disorder, proposing animal hoarding disorder as a new nosographic category. This proposal is based on empirical studies and the literature review, suggesting specificities for the diagnosis of animal hoarders [5]. ...
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The main goal of this research is to describe the psychopathological symptoms comorbid to animal hoarding disorder. This is a cross-sectional study with a sample of a 33 individuals sample diagnosed with animal hoarding disorder. For data collection, a Sociodemographic Data questionnaire and a Semi-Structured Clinical Interview were used, based on the DSM-5 Level 1 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measure. The sample consisted of 24 women (72.7%) and 9 men (27.30%), with a prevalence of 64% of the elderly. The mean number of self-reported animals per residence was 41.12 (DP = 24.41), totaling 1357 animals: 915 (68%) dogs, 382 (28%) cats, and 50 (4%) ducks. The results indicated animal hoarding disorder the comorbid psychopathological symptoms of depression (36%), anxiety (36%), memory deficits (27%), mania (21%) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (18%). The analyses revealed a higher occurrence of these symptoms among participants who had hoarded animals for over 20 years.
... They concluded that individuals presenting animal hoarding behaviour were often lonely, reflecting an absence of social networks. Felthous and Calhoun (2018) reflected on the underlying reasons for animal hoarding behaviour, referring to Paloski et al.'s (2017) findings, and supporting the findings of Ferreira et al. ( , 2020, that more older women than men seemed to show animal hoarding behaviour. Felthous and Calhoun suggested that through animal hoarding behaviour individuals showed a form of 'emotional affinity and "caring" attitude towards animals' (Felthous & Calhoun, 2018, p. 763); for women this was associated with animal rights and welfare. ...
This chapter discusses some areas of study in HAB that appear promising but still require further research and development. The chapter focuses on three main topics: zooeyia (the beneficial effects of HAB), animal hoarding, and animal-assisted crisis response.
Pathologisches Horten von Tieren wird als Tierhortung oder Tier-sammelsucht (englisch animal hoarding) bezeichnet. Ausser kontrollierenden Maßnahmen werden vorwiegend verhaltenstherapeutischen Methoden in Anlehnung an etablierte Behandlungsempfehlungen verwandter Erkrankungen empfohlen. Dieser Artikel beschreibt neben Psychopathologie, Epidemiologie und Verlauf der Erkrankung den Zusammenhang zu anderen psychiatrischen Krankheitsbildern. Fachpersonen haben teils Vorurteile oder sind wenig vertraut mit Tierhortung, da Betroffene aufgrund fehlender Krankheitseinsicht oder aus Scham keine Hilfe suchen. Eine gute Vernetzung der verschiedenen involvierten Fachbereiche und weitere Forschung wären wünschenswert.
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Hoarding is a disorder that has only recently begun to be understood by researchers and clinicians. This disorder has been examined from a biopsychosocial perspective and has features that overlap with obsessive-compulsive disorder as well as some unique characteristics. Hoarding disorder is widespread and maybe related to the evolution of collecting and storing resources among humans and other animals. While there have been a number of non-analytic theories related to hoarding and its treatment, psychoanalytic thinkers have rarely described the disorder or explored its underlying psychodynamics. Beginning with Freud, it is possible to understand hoarding in relationship to the vicissitudes of the anal stage of development. However, loss of a loved object, especially loss of the mother, can play an important role in the development of hoarding behavior in adults. The hoarding of inanimate items, examined from a developmental object-relations perspective, appears to involve transitional phenomena. Animal hoarding also involves transitional phenomena, but animals, which can serve as animated transitional objects, also have a repetition compulsion function. These psychodynamic characteristics are relevant for establishing a working transference with the analyst or therapist, in order to promote positive therapeutic outcomes.
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Consumerism is an inherent feature of a modern consumer-minded society which enhances in some people both a hunger for collecting and a more serious desire developing into oniomania (shopping mania, shopaholism), kleptomania or pathological hoarding (syllogomania, Diogenes syndrome, Plyushkin's syndrome). The paper proposes an interdisciplinary approach to the problem of pathological hoarding of unnecessary things and domestic animals by tenants of condominiums in Russian cities. Socio-legal prerequisites for this psychosocial disease still insufficiently studied in the country are also analyzed in the paper. The data of the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation and various legal acts were examined. In the course of the study, methods of quality content analysis and visual sociology were used to analyze cases of pathological hoarding highlighted in Russian digital media in recent years. The Clutter-Hoarding Scale and Clutter Image Rating Scale were used to interpret photos of cluttered Russian flats in condos. In conclusion, recommendations are given on improving state policy and the legislation of the Russian Federation.
Hoarding can be a challenging psychological and social problem. It involves both excessive acquisition and difficulty discarding old used possessions. Approximately 5% of the population shows some degree of hoarding behavior and 20% of the population encounters difficulty discarding possessions. Strong emotion is often experienced when attempting to discard possessions. Using CBT, information processing deficits, dysfunctional beliefs about possessions, behavioral avoidance, and emotional attachment to possessions are addressed.
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Ayvalık town is a traditional and urban formation that is of the outcome of centuries of optimization of material use, construction techniques and climate considerations, that the traces of the Greek architecture is seen. In this study, traditional building designs having various typology is evaluated. It is concerned with the layout of the buildings (orientation, climate, aspect ratio). This study is concerned with the layout of the buildings, such as building orientation, climate, aspect ratio, the proximity of houses (site planning), the air movement, the size-position of building openings, and the building facade (walls, construction materials, thickness, roof construction detailing). This paper evaluates specific vernacular dwelling types and their response to climate, based on passive design principles that could be adapted to current architectural practice in the area, in order to optimize the relationship between site, building and climate, in Ayvalık.
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Animal hoarding is a poorly understood phenomenon, the public health implications of which are not well documented. In this study, professionals dealing with hoarding cases submitted 71 case report forms. The hoarders' residences were characterized by extreme clutter and poor sanitation that impaired ability to maintain functional households. Appliances and utilities were frequently nonfunctional, and animal excrement sometimes accumulated to the extent that the homes were unfit for human habitation. The majority of cases satisfied criteria for adult self-neglect, and dependent elderly people, children, or disabled individuals were present in many of the residences. Animal hoarding may be a sentinel for a range of medical, social, and economic problems. More research addressing the causes and features of animal hoarding is needed to shed light on appropriate interventions.
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Abstract Noah syndrome is a variant of Diogenes syndrome that presents as hoarding a large number of animals. Predisposing factors for developing this disorder are situations of psychosocial stress and loneliness. However, the medical conditions of the sufferer, which can represent the organic substrate for the development of this psychopathology, should be considered.
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Animal hoarding is considered to be an under-reported problem, which affects the welfare of both people and animals. Few published studies on animal hoarding are available in the scientific literature, particularly outside North America. The present study was designed to obtain data on animal hoarding in Spain, with a particular focus on animal welfare issues. Data were obtained retrospectively from 24 case reports of animal hoarding involving a total of 1,218 dogs and cats and 27 hoarders. All cases were the result of legal intervention by a Spanish humane society during the period from 2002 to 2011. Hoarders could be characterised as elderly, socially isolated men and women who tended to hoard only one species (dog or cat). Most cases presented a chronic course of more than five years of animal hoarding. The average number of animals per case was 50, with most animals being dogs. In 75% of cases the animals showed indications of poor welfare, including poor body condition, and the presence of wounds, parasitic and infectious illnesses. Amongst the hoarded animals aggression and social fear were the most commonly reported behaviours. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report on animal hoarding in Spain and one of the first in Europe. Further studies are needed to fully elucidate the epidemiology, cross-cultural differences and aetiology of this under-recognised public health and welfare problem. More research might help to find efficient protocols to assist in the resolution and prevention of this kind of problem.
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Animal hoarding not only presents significant welfare issues for the animals involved, but also for the hoarders and people in the surrounding community. Existing studies on the issue have primarily been undertaken in the USA and little is known about animal hoarding in other countries, including Australia. It has been estimated that the per-capita prevalence of animal hoarding in Victoria, Australia, is similar to that in the USA, but in order to design effective intervention strategies, the extent of the issue and its characteristics need to be identified. This study analyzes data from 22 recent cases of animal hoarding from a number of agencies in Victoria. The demographics and living conditions of animal hoarders in Victoria and the USA were found to be similar. In contrast, the animals involved in hoarding cases in Victoria were in a better condition than the animals in the USA, with behavioral issues being the leading animal welfare concern in Australia. Behavioral problems resulted in euthanasia of the animals in 45% of the cases studied. All of the agencies included in this study call for a greater involvement or support from human mental health services to fully address the root of the problem. The information from this study can be used to help identify groups at risk to develop effective and appropriate means of prevention of, and intervention in, animal hoarding cases.
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Currently, case studies and media reports provide the only descriptive information available to understand what distinguishes hoarding of animals from nonhoarding animal ownership. This poorly understood problem appears to be associated with substantial mental health difficulties. The present study investigated characteristics and antecedents that might explain hoarding behaviors. Sixteen people who fit criteria for hoarding of animals and 11 nonhoarding controls who owned large numbers of animals participated in semistructured interviews that were analyzed using somewhat atypical qualitative and quantitative methods. The interviews focused on demographic information, history of animal contact, social history, insight into physical and mental health issues, collecting behaviors, and beliefs and emotions associated with animals. Descriptive statistics and qualitative analyses were used to examine differences between hoarding and nonhoarding groups and to capture distinguishing themes and patterns. Both groups were well matched in demographic variables and were mainly White women of middle age; the average number of animals owned was 31. Thematic content common to both groups was stressful life events (both childhood and adult), strong emotional reactions to animal death, strong caretaking roles and attitudes toward animals, a tendency to rescue animals, and intense feelings of closeness or attachment to animals. Themes found significantly more often among animal hoarding participants than controls included problems with early attachment, chaotic childhood environments, significant mental health concerns, attribution of human characteristics to animals, and the presence of more dysfunctional current relationships. These themes are elaborated and discussed with regard to potential models for understanding hoarding of animals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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.
Substantial research and literature indicate how people and companion animals form relationships that are, for the most part, mutually beneficial. Yet there are highly dysfunctional human-animal relationships that do occur, meriting attention and remediation. One of the most perplexing and problematic human-animal relationships is encountered in cases of animal hoarding--a deviant behavior associated with extremely deleterious conditions of comorbid animal and self-neglect. Adult Protective Services workers often encounter theoretical and methodological dilemmas with these complex cases. To intervene most effectively, it becomes critical to elucidate some of the developmental factors of animal hoarding behavior and its correlation with self-neglecting behaviors in general. This article presents an in-depth diagnostic perspective as derived from the author's research and clinical experience. An analysis of the complex dynamics of the relationship between animal hoarders and their pets is presented in conjunction with accepted theories of self-neglect. With enhanced knowledge and understanding of animal hoarding, human service professionals will be better prepared to respond to these clients, evoke greater rapport and cooperation, and engage in the interdisciplinary efforts that are essential for optimal resolution.
Six recent cases of animal hoarding in Manitoba were compared to the relevant literature. Cases were similar to previous reports in age and demographics of hoarders. Five cases involved small mammals and 1 case involved horses. Understanding this phenomenon would be enhanced by consistent investigative format and reporting and closer working relationships with public health.