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How to Help Someone Who Suffers from Animal Hoarding

If you know someone who is hoarding pets, helping them can not only save the animals, but give the individual a chance to live a normal life.


  • Step 1: Suggest treatment to the individual. Have resources ready for the hoarder.
  • Step 2: Stay in touch with the hoarder throughout the entire process. This is crucial, because often times hoarders need human interaction to help them overcome their problem. It may not be an easy road, but helping a hoarder is well worth the work.
  • FACT: The Humane Society calculated that as of 2009, animal hoarding victimizes almost 250,000 animals each year.
  • TIP: If you are not an animal person, get other friends involved to help in the process. Someone who has experienced the human-animal bond first hand can help the hoarder feel understood.
  • Step 3: Listen closely to the hoarder. Be receptive to the hoarder's explanations about his or hers behavior. The more understanding you are, the more likely the hoarder will be to accept your recommendations.
  • TIP: If you are unsure about whether the person is a hoarder, consult a veterinarian.
  • Step 4: Educate yourself about animal-human bonds as well as animal hoarding. Visit websites that deal with animal hoarding and offer further resources for understanding it.
  • Step 5: Talk to the hoarder and let them know you are there to assist. Reassure them that their animals will be taken care of and will not be hurt. Make the hoarder as comfortable as possible.
  • Step 6: Determine if the individual is an animal hoarder. Just because a person has many animals does not mean they are a hoarder. Some signs include having several animals that are not taken care of, living in a deteriorated home, and being isolated from other individuals.

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