Compulsive Accumulation of Animals

The compulsive accumulation of animals is a psychiatric disorder that tries to gather pets at home and then not give the minimum necessary care. Today we talk more thoroughly about this disorder.

How to determine that we are facing a compulsive accumulation of animals

As in many disorders, compulsive accumulation of animals is identified by several phases. These are:

  • A number of animals We are not talking about having three or four pets, but about collecting pets in a compulsive and excessive way. One of the best-known cases of this disorder is in the United States and has more than 550 animals in a single home.
  • Inability to take care of them.  The compulsive accumulation of animals is characterized by not having the means or responsibility to feed and care for the animals that have been acquired, either by picking them up in the street or adopting them. Poor hygiene in the home is an unequivocal sign that the person suffers from this disorder.
  • Denial of the problem No person who is performing the compulsive accumulation of animals will recognize that he has a problem but will try to disguise it with his love for animals. Moreover, instead of thinking that they are not taking good care of the animals, they affirm that they are helping them, because before they were on the street and now they have a roof on which to be thanks to them.

What types of people practice compulsive accumulation of animals

People who suffer from this syndrome are usually people who feel lonely or rejected and seek joy by helping others. This especially occurs in older people who have no family or friends.

On other occasions, they have to do with people with obsessive disorders or psychotic problems that can sometimes be part of a depressive condition. They say that helping others makes oneself feel better, and individuals who suffer from this disorder really believe that they help animals.

Although we believe that these may be isolated cases, in the United States, for example, more than 2,000 copies of animals that were in these conditions were rescued.

Similarities with Diogenes syndrome

Diogenes syndrome has to do with the accumulation of garbage and objects that are useless, while that of Noah accumulates animals. Sometimes both disorders can occur at the same time in the same person.

Interestingly, the compulsive accumulation of animals is less studied and less accepted than that of Diogenes, so there is not much information or guidelines to solve it.

However, in the Affinity Animals and Health Foundation of Spain Chair, they were pioneers in the examination of this psychological disorder when they began to investigate in 2011. The purpose of this study is to find solutions that help not only affected people but also animals that are victims of this evil.

For 2012, they conducted a study in which they analyzed 1218 pets and 24 cases of people with this syndrome. They concluded that this form of animal accumulation was a form of animal abuse and irresponsible possession of animals and that, therefore, it should be treated as such and take action, whether legal or otherwise, that would provide definitive solutions.

Problems for public health

A consequence that jumped as an alarm for this syndrome was the danger it could pose to public health. For example, the poor health that exists in houses that pile up animals can produce bad odors caused by feces and urine, which will annoy neighbors and people who walk around.

It can transmit diseases, spread pests, spoil water or electricity conduits, as well as cause respiratory diseases to those around.

Unfortunately, this syndrome is one more cause of the emotional deficiencies that many people in the world suffer, and that they look for ways to fill this void, which once they have done it – collecting animals – they forget everything else, as the needs basic of these.

The compulsive accumulation of animals is one more form of animal abuse against which we all must fight. If you know any case in your community, report!

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