Animal Hoarding FAQ - Stages, possible causes, etc Sept 7, 2009 22:02:47 GMT -5 Quote Select PostDeselect PostLink to PostBack to Top Post by CourageouslyLion SeeksSerenity on Sept 7, 2009 22:02:47 GMT -5 -The Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine hasthe Center for Animals and Public Policy.They have a very informative resource that is a gathering of articles fromthe Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC).vet.tufts.edu/hoarding/This is the best website in existence regarding issues with animal hoarding.The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium was a group of professionals and agencies that worked together over a number of years to research animal hoarding, and these pages are from that work.They've also updated with links to more recent research.There is a lot of information in all these articles.Reading it will help you to understand the animal hoarders you read about, see on TV, or meet in real life. And they may help you to understand yourself, too.Some of the articles are about the conditions of the animals and their care.Other articles are about the people -- the psychology of animal hoarding.Official definition of animal hoarding:The following criteria are used to define animal hoarding: More than the typical number of companion animalsInability to provide even minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter, and veterinary care, with this neglect often resulting in starvation, illness, and deathDenial of the inability to provide this minimum care and the impact of that failure on the animals, the household, and human occupants of the dwellingThree Stages/Types of Animal HoardingThis is about the PEOPLE who do the hoarding.It was written by Gary J. Patronek, VMD, PhDfor a housing conference in Massachusetts.The link is from the Animal Rescue League of Boston.vet.tufts.edu/hoarding/pubs/masshousing.pdfEASY-TO-PRINT Chart:Three TYPES of ANIMAL HOARDERS:www.tufts.edu/vet/hoarding/picts/typology.jpgHere are the three stages/types -- paraphrased in my own words, imperfectly:1) Overwhelmed caregiver:Overwhelmed pet lover. Passive in acquiring pets. Unfortunate situations due to changes in life circumstances. Didn't intend to have too many pets but now does. Pets are family. Her self-esteem is linked to her role as "caregiver". Difficulty with problem-solving, but still somewhat aware of reality.However, it's still "animal hoarding" ... so it is part of the definition quoted above -- and the animals are not getting adequate care.2) Rescue hoarder:a person who originally had begun to rescue animals from bad circumstances with the intention of putting them up for adoption to good homes -- which is reasonable ...... but at some point she began to think that she alone can provide the best care, and is no longer willing to adopt the animals out.She continues to ACTIVELY rescue, but doesn't find good homes for the animals she rescues, so her collection grows.-- a "mission" has crossed the line into unavoidable compulsion. She might have enablers or a group helping her to acquire animals. Sometimes the animals live outside her home.3) Exploitive, manipulative.Animals are things. Lacks empathy for people or animals. Lacks guilt /remorse. Power trip.(end my imperfectly paraphrased definitions).OFFICIAL DEFINITIONS:written by Gary J. Patronek, VMD, PhDfor a housing conference in Massachusetts.The document is from the Animal Rescue League of Boston.as posted at Tufts animal hoarding websitevet.tufts.edu/hoarding/pubs/masshousing.pdfwww.tufts.edu/vet/hoarding/picts/typology.jpgThree stages/types of animal hoarding:1) Overwhelmed caregiverSome awareness, more reality-basedMore passive acquisition than active acquisitionProblems triggered by change in circumstanceUnable to problem-solve effectivelyAnimals are family membersLikely to be socially isolatedSelf-esteem linked to role as caregiverFewer issues with authorities2) Rescuer hoarderMission leading to unavoidable compulsionFear of deathMore active vs. passive acquisitionS/he believes that s/he is the only one who can provide adequate careRescue-followed-by-adoption becomes rescue-only careMay have extensive network of enablers or groupNot as likely to live with the animals3) Exploiter hoarder Tends to have sociopathic characteristics*(See definitions of "sociopath" at the bottom of this individual post)Lacks empathy for people or animalsIndifferent to harm causedRejects outsiders’ concernsSuperficial charm and charismaLacks guilt /remorseManipulative and cunningAdopts role of expert with need to controlEASY-TO-PRINT Chart:Three TYPES of ANIMAL HOARDERS:www.tufts.edu/vet/hoarding/picts/typology.jpgI suggest reading the ENTIRE article on the stages/types of hoarding.It's only 3 pages.It gives info for how to help the hoarder. Very informative.vet.tufts.edu/hoarding/pubs/masshousing.pdfThe challenge of intervention-- what types of animal hoarders may respondto which types of intervention or not(based on the above three types):vet.tufts.edu/hoarding/picts/approaches.jpgTraits/Deficits of Animal Hoarders:www.tufts.edu/vet/hoarding/abthoard.htm#A3animal hoarding knows no age, gender, or socioeconomic boundaries. It has been observed in men and women, young and old, married as well as never married or widowed, and in people with professional or white collar jobs. There have even been hoarders among human health professionals and veterinarians and veterinary technicians. It is not uncommon for hoarders to be secretive, living essentially a "double life" at work vs at home.animal hoarding is likely a final common pathway from a variety of traumatic experiences which result in dysfunctional attachment styles to people and lead to compulsive and addictive behavior.See this graphic for a descriptive model:www.tufts.edu/vet/hoarding/picts/wrkngmodel.jpgAnimal hoarder's impaired judgment and actions, or failures to act, may arise from a variety of factors. These include difficulties understanding relevant information about animals’ needs, inaccurate appreciation of a situation and its consequences, being unable to reason about treatment options and alternative courses of action, faulty self-governance, psychological defenses and behaviors in response to stress, as well as magical thinking, lack of insight, and other cognitive distortions. When these impairments become associated with functional deficits (e.g., failure to provide adequate food, water, proper sanitation, necessary medical care, and failure to recognize and attend to fundamental behavioral and mental needs of animals), incompetent care occurs and animal suffering results.Diagram of traits here:www.tufts.edu/vet/hoarding/picts/traitsndeficits.jpgWhat is a sociopath?Note that the document says that stage 3 Exploitive "tends to have sociopathic characteristics".The word "Sociopath" is no longer used in professional psychiatric terminology. It has now been replaced by other words as follows:"Sociopath" as defined in USA:in the American Psychiatric Association's"Diagnostic and Statistical Manual" (DSM-IV)It is now officially called"anti-social personality disorder"which is "a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood."Diagnostic criteriafor Anti-Social Personality Disorder:Three or more of the following are required: Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest; Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure; Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead; Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults; Reckless disregard for safety of self or others; Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations; Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.UPDATE:Proposed Definition of Antisocial Personality Disorder(aka Dyssocial Personality Disorder)for the next edition of DSM (The DSM-5):can be found here:www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevision/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=16 (link now broken)As follows:A. Significant impairments in personality functioning manifest by:1. Impairments in self functioning (a or b):a. Identity: Ego-centrism; self-esteem derived from personal gain, power, or pleasure.b. Self-direction: Goal-setting based on personal gratification; absence of prosocial internal standards associated with failure to conform to lawful or culturally normative ethical behavior.[/blockquote]~ AND ~[/li][li]2. Impairments in interpersonal functioning (a or b):[/li][li]a. Empathy: Lack of concern for feelings, needs, or suffering of others; lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating another.[/li][li]b. Intimacy: Incapacity for mutually intimate relationships, as exploitation is a primary means of relating to others, including by deceit and coercion; use of dominance or intimidation to control others.[/blockquote][/li][/ul]B. Pathological personality traits in the following domains: 1. Antagonism, characterized by:a. Manipulativeness: Frequent use of subterfuge to influence or control others; use of seduction, charm, glibness, or ingratiation to achieve one‘s ends.b. Deceitfulness: Dishonesty and fraudulence; misrepresentation of self; embellishment or fabrication when relating events.c. Callousness: Lack of concern for feelings or problems of others; lack of guilt or remorse about the negative or harmful effects of one‘s actions on others; aggression; sadism.d. Hostility: Persistent or frequent angry feelings; anger or irritability in response to minor slights and insults; mean, nasty, or vengeful behavior.[/blockquote][/li][li]2. Disinhibition, characterized by:[/li][li]a. Irresponsibility: Disregard for – and failure to honor – financial and other obligations or commitments; lack of respect for – and lack of follow through on – agreements and promises.[/li][li]b. Impulsivity: Acting on the spur of the moment in response to immediate stimuli; acting on a momentary basis without a plan or consideration of outcomes; difficulty establishing and following plans.[/li][li]c. Risk taking: Engagement in dangerous, risky, and potentially self-damaging activities, unnecessarily and without regard for consequences; boredom proneness and thoughtless initiation of activities to counter boredom; lack of concern for one‘s limitations and denial of the reality of personal danger.[/blockquote][/li][/ul]C. The impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are relatively stable across time and consistent across situations.D. The impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are not better understood as normative for the individual’s developmental stage or socio-cultural environment.E. The impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are not solely due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., severe head trauma).For DSM5, The degree/severity of this disorder is measured on a scalethat is described here:www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=468 (link now broken)[/td][/tr][/table]"Sociopath" is defined internationally:by the World Health Organization's"International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems" (ICD-10)It is now officially called"dis-social personality disorder"Dis-social Personality Disorder: Callous unconcern for the feelings of others and lack of the capacity for empathy. Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations. Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them. Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence. Incapacity to experience guilt and to profit from experience, particularly punishment. Marked proneness to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior bringing the subject into conflict. Persistent irritability. After reading the above three definitions for the word "sociopath" --the current APA DSM-IV "anti-social personality disorder";the proposed APA DSM-5 "anti-social personality disorder";andthe WHO ICD-10 "dis-social personality disorder" --I am not sure which of those two terms that the Animal Hoarding article is referring to -- when it says that the Stage Three Exploitive Hoarder "tends to have sociopathic characteristics" ... but I think you get the general idea.