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Sunday, September 20th, 2015 @ 3:00pm          

A frank discussion about the realities of animal hording, mental illness, and the obstacles which prevent successful treatment and prosecution of criminal cases.

 Animal Hoarding: An Overview

Animal Hoarding: An Overview from Animal Community Talks on Vimeo.

Addiction.  Suicide.  Mental illness. Hoarding.  These are all difficult topics, avoided and kept in the dark.  But if there is to be any hope of a solution, someone has to start the conversation.    

Dr. Kirk Miller presented first, defining and describing animal hoarding versus neglect or abuse. 

He reviewed a few shocking and demonstrative local cases, detailing how each case was revealed and then resolved.  Fortunately,the Oregon Humane Society has successfully treated and re-homed most of the hoarded animalsdiscussed in the case studies.

Hoarding 2

Unfortunately, animal hoarders almost invariably move away after an intervention, and most experts suspect they continue the behavior elsewhere.  Two officers in the audience, experienced in dealing with animal hoarding situations, confirmed that theyhave not seen a perpetrator remain in the residence after an intervention.

Dr. Catherine Miller presented for the second half of the event, describing the keydifferences and similarities between animal and object hoarding.  Treating patients for object hoarding is generally very time consuming, which is impractical for urgent animal welfare situations.

Animal hoarding has not yet been thoroughly studied by human psychologists, but interest is growing as mental illness concerns become more evident in hoarding cases.  Animal hoarders have ashockingly high rate of relapse, largely due to a need for mental health services to treat the underlying causes for the behavior.


ACT extends a sincere thanks to Drs. Kirk and Cathy Miller for their time and expertise.