Animal Hoarding in Victoria, Australia: An Exploratory Study
– New Research Citation, Entered on 2/12/2014; Original Item from 2014
The authors of this study reviewed 22 cases of animal hoarding in Australia, looking at the demographics and living conditions of the household and animals, details of enforcement, and outcome for the animals and community. Types and numbers of animals hoarded varied widely, with some patterns related to the age and gender of the hoarder. In contrast to U.S. cases, animals were generally well-fed. However, large numbers of animals, especially cats, were euthanized as unadoptable due to “behavior problems.” Most animals were acquired through uncontrolled breeding, with some variation by species. Unlike U.S. animal hoarders, Australian animal hoarders do not necessarily hoard objects, and are less likely to live alone. Initial complaints were often misdirected, and communication between enforcement agencies was poor. Recidivism was very high. Animal welfare agencies are already working on better rehabilitation to reduce euthanasia. The authors call for sterilization of animals returned to hoarders to reduce future hoarding, and interagency cooperation to best address the needs of both hoarders and animals.
by Emma M. Ockenden, Bert De Groef, & Linda Marston (La Trobe University, Centre for AgriBioscience & Others)