Navigation Links
Animal hoarding, a lesser-known problem for public health and welfare

Animal hoarding is a psychiatric disorder that consists of accumulating large numbers of animals at home, usually cats and dogs, without providing them with a minimal standard of care. Researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute) publish the first European study to provide data on this disorder, in the Journal Animal Welfare. The disorder is still largely unknown and has a negative effect on the health of both the people who suffer from it and the animals involved.

"This is the first step towards public recognition of this disorder, a disorder that constitutes a growing concern for government as it is becoming a serious problem for public health. There are still no standardised action protocols for intervention in these cases" states Paula Calvo, a researcher of the IMIM research group on anxiety, affective disorders and schizophrenia and of the "Ctedra Fundacin Affinity Animales y Salud" (Affinity Foundation Chair for Animals and Health) of the Department of Psychiatry of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Currently, when a case is detected, the animals are removed but no attention is given to the person suffering the disorder. This person does not realise that his or her animals are in poor health and soon begins to hoard them again. Sometimes these animals are found at obvious and critical levels of malnutrition, dehydration and parasitic infestation, with illnesses or uncontrolled breeding, all in a very unhygienic space.

The researchers believe that this disorder has implications for mental health, animal welfare and public health and therefore that recognising its presence in our society is the first step in identifying and detecting cases early and dealing with them in the most efficient possible way. As different sectors must mobilise when a case appears, such as animal protection, public health, public welfare, etc, the group works in conjunction with government, creating multidisciplinary action protocols.

This is the first study to provide data on this syndrome in Europe and it has been possible thanks to the relationships of the researchers with organisations dedicated to the protection of animals. This put them in contact with various cases of the disorder and aroused their interest in the issue. Seeing that there was a vacuum in Europe they decided to contact the National Association of Friends of Animals (ANAA) and to retrospectively analyse the cases that they had collected in their database between 2002 and 2011. They created a questionnaire for the experts who had participated in these cases and all the information that the organisation had available was classified and standardised.

Until now all existing research on the issue has been carried out in the US, Canada and Australia, but with this study it has been demonstrated for the first time that this mental disorder also occurs in Europe and with similar characteristics. For the time being the data is not sufficient to know the percentage of the population which suffers from the disorder, nor to better understand the profile of those who hoard.


Contact: Marta Calsina
IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute)

Related biology news :

1. Parkinsons disease stopped in animal model
2. Study suggests why some animals live longer
3. Are we really a nation of animal lovers?
4. NOAA discovers way to detect low-level exposure to seafood toxin in marine animals
5. China poised to accept first-ever non-animal test method for cosmetics
6. Elephant seal tracking reveals hidden lives of deep-diving animals
7. Deep sea animals stowaway on submarines and reach new territory
8. T cells hunt parasites like animal predators seek prey, a Penn Vet-Penn Physics study reveals
9. Animal reservoir mystery solved
10. WALTHAM® demonstrates commitment to scientific dialogue and exchange at international human animal interaction conference
11. Environmental concerns increasing infectious disease in amphibians, other animals
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ) ... Sensors - Technology and Patent Infringement Risk Analysis" ... --> Fingerprint sensors using capacitive technology ... fingerprint sensor vendor Idex forecasts an increase of 360% ... devices and of the fingerprint sensor market between 2014 ...
(Date:11/20/2015)... , November 20, 2015 ... company focused on the growing mobile commerce market and ... Gino Pereira , was recently interviewed on ... will air on this weekend on Bloomberg Europe ... America . --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... Nov. 19, 2015  Based on its in-depth analysis ... recognizes BIO-key with the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan ... & Sullivan presents this award to the company that ... the needs of the market it serves. The award ... and expands on customer base demands, the overall impact ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... the Enterprise NoSQL database platform provider, creating a seamless approach to semantic ... Intelligence capabilities provide a robust set of semantic tools which create intelligent ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... HACKENSACK, N.J. and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel ... Inc. (NASDAQ: BCLI ), a leading developer of ... its wholly-owned subsidiary, Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Ltd., has been awarded ... Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS). This grant, ... to Brainstorm for 2015 activities to approximately $1.8 million (approximately ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... , ... November 28, 2015 , ... • Jeon Jin ... avian, porcine and rodent control solutions , ... cinnamon oil, works across all sensory modalities including visual, smell, taste and touch, enabling ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Kingdom , Nov. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/--  Mallinckrodt plc ... company, announced today that it has closed the sale ... business to Guerbet (GBT- NYSE Euronext) in a transaction ... encompassed four manufacturing facilities and a total of approximately ... in the St. Louis area. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: