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Animal Hoarding by Humans: A Literature Review

By Corina L. Schroeder

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I review the origin and treatment of animal-hoarding disorder in humans and its relation to hoarding disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, showing that it seems to be more closely related to object hoarding. The disorder often originates in a traumatic life event, which triggers a psychological vulnerability to compulsively collect animals. In some cases, the hoarding individual was neglected by parental figures at a young age and developed relationships with animals in order to cope with the neglect. Some theories that proposed to explain the neglectful behavior in animal hoarding include dissociation, delusion, and dementia, viewing the animals as self-objects, or viewing them as extensions of themselves. I also consider recommended treatments for animal hoarders.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2017
Publication Title Intuition: The BYU Undergraduate Journal of Psychology
Volume 12
Issue 2
Pages 135-141
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal hoarding
  2. Animal roles
  3. neglect
  4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  5. open access
  6. Pets and companion animals
  1. open access