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A look at animal hoarding

Animal hoarding is characterized by the compulsive need to collect and keep animals without sufficient resources to care for them.

Animals in hoarding situations are typically under socialized, cramped, malnourished, dirty and suffering from untreated medical conditions.

Often the hoarders take in the animals with the best intentions, but their act of concern quickly spirals out of control, and they are unable or unwilling to accept that there is a problem.

If you suspect someone of animal hoarding, please contact your local animal control authorities. If you can do it safely, it’s also helpful to collect evidence of neglect.

Taking photos of cluttered outdoor spaces, excessive trash and outdoor pets will make it easier for animal control to develop a case for the animals.

For local animal control in King County contact:

Regional Animal Services of King County: (206) 296-7387
Seattle Animal Control (services City of Seattle): (206) 386-7387

Common signs of an animal hoarder:

• Limited or no social interactions
• Inability to discard items; it’s common for animal hoarders to also keep large amounts of trash
• Strong stench of animal waste coming from property
• Ongoing and persistent barking
• When pets are visible, they are thin – or obese, unkempt and often nervous around strangers

This week’s pet of the week, Jayce, was rescued from an animal hoarding situation. If you’re interested in adopting Jayce, you can visit him at the Seattle Humane Society.

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