General Public Health Considerations for Responding to Animal Hoarding Cases

By Castrodale, Louisa; Bellay, Yvonne M. et al. | Journal of Environmental Health, March 2010 | Go to article overview

General Public Health Considerations for Responding to Animal Hoarding Cases


Castrodale, Louisa, Bellay, Yvonne M., Brown, Catherine M., Cantor, Fredric L., Gibbins, John D., Headrick, Marcia L., Leslie, Mira J., MacMahon, Kathleen, O'Quin, Jeanette M., Patronek, Gary J., Silva, Rodrigo A., Wright, James C., Yu, Diana T., Journal of Environmental Health


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Introduction

Animal hoarding is an under-recognized problem that exists in most communities and adversely impacts the health, welfare, and safety of humans, animals, and the environment. Animal hoarding is defined by four characteristics (Patronek, Loar, & Nathanson, 2006):

* failure or inability to provide animals minimal standards of sanitation, space, nutrition, and veterinary care;

* inability to recognize the effects of this failure on the welfare of the animals, human members of the household, and the environment;

* obsessive attempts to accumulate or maintain a collection of animals in the face of deteriorating conditions; and

* denial or minimization of the problems and living conditions for people and animals. Most hoarding cases involve private individuals who claim ownership of numerous animals in a single rented or owned facility. In some cases, established shelters, rescue no-kill groups, or puppy mills may create a physical setting that mimics a hoarding situation.

The management of recognized animal hoarding situations should be well planned, interdisciplinary, and handled by trained personnel. People may encounter risks while on a premises evaluating or responding to issues caused by animal hoarding itself or the animal hoarding may be an incidental finding during a visit for another purpose. Anyone aware of serious animal hoarding situations should report them to local animal control or public safety authorities for appropriate coordination, investigation, and follow-up. Remediation is extremely difficult and rarely successful in the long term. The multifaceted nature of these situations, refractory behaviors of individuals involved, unclear criteria about animal cruelty, and privacy and personal property rights can be major obstacles to permanent solutions. A complete discussion of remediation is beyond the scope of this article.

Protection of the health and safety of responders and others involved in the response is a priority for any animal hoarding incident. Anyone involved in a response should create a comprehensive plan prior to initiating an investigation (Figure 1). The following guidelines were developed to address public health concerns and the need for careful planning for responder safety in handling situations where animal hoarding or other dense concentrations of animals have caused unhealthy and unsafe conditions.

Preparing for a Response

Adequate preparation to protect responders and careful forethought and engagement of stakeholders prior to any action are important in achieving an acceptable outcome. Because animal hoarding situations are often complex, a full response is likely to be prolonged and involve multiple agencies, including those responsible for providing social services, law enforcement, and animal health and control services. Each scenario must be evaluated individually. For example, nuisance laws and precedence of authority vary among localities. Local public health agencies generally have broad authority to remediate known or suspected human health risks by prevention and control of known and suspected communicable diseases. These agencies also have authority to address environmental impacts to health affecting the community. Guidelines for planning and managing these efforts are available (The Humane Society of the United States, 1994).

One of the numerous issues to consider when preparing for a response includes ensuring that all appropriate agencies are informed and involved in the planning process. This step is especially relevant when there are legal concerns about proper evidence collection and chain of custody procedures. Also, because animal hoarding cases often attract attention from media, agencies should alert their public information officers. Requests for information from media should be funneled to a single public information officer, designated by the lead agency or community official, who will coordinate with all involved agencies. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

General Public Health Considerations for Responding to Animal Hoarding Cases
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.