Category: Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders

Symposium

Characteristics of People and Environments Where Animal Hoarding Occurs

Sunday, November 19
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom B, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Hoarding | Community-Based Assessment / Intervention
Presentation Type: Symposium

With the classification of hoarding as a distinct disorder in DSM-5, there has been an increase in interest in animal hoarding. To date, most scientific study of animal hoarding has been conducted by and reported on in the veterinary and animal welfare literature. The interventions have primarily focused on the negative consequences for the animals involved. Treatment efforts for the human owners have been hindered by lack of basic understanding of the phenomenon from a psychosocial perspective. The current study examines the human and environmental characteristics of people who hoard animals through detailed qualitative analysis of cases files, animal welfare accounts and reports from two animal welfare organizations in different geographic regions of the United States. Findings illuminate elements of home environments where animal hoarding occurs including excessive squalor and sanitation concerns for the humans and animals alike. Common features of people who hoard animals include strong emotional reactivity, excessive concern for the animals ahead of their own welfare and propensity for return to behavior of animal accumulation even after intervention.

Christiana Bratiotis

Assistant Professor
Portland State University

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