Beyond the “Crazy Cat Lady” Stereotype: An Introduction to Animal Hoarding

Source: Humane Society of the United States / ABC News

At the top of hour, we connect with Cyrus Showkati from Canadians for Effective Animal Cruelty Legislation, a coalition that is raising awareness about the weaknesses of Bill S-203. A bogus piece of legislation, argues the coalition, Bill S-203 is set to pass in Parliament in April. Not only does the proposed bill not go far enough to address animal cruelty, but CEACL also claims that it could actually distract attention from the real problem and from creating meaningful change. (Shockingly, Canada’s animal cruelty legislation has not been updated since 1892!)

For our feature interview, Gary Patronek explains animal hoarding, a term he coined in 1997. Patronek, who founded the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC), has worked with colleagues for over ten years to understand this disturbing psychological and social phenomenon. Tune in to hear about what compels people to hoard, the different types of hoarders, and what can be done to help both the animals and humans involved.

Still strikingly under-researched by the academic and medical communities, animal hoarding largely remains misunderstood by the public, as those who hoard are often demonized, or understood as simply loving animals too much. As Patronek discusses, the HARC research suggests a nuanced account of this difficult problem.

Listen right now:

or download an mp3 of the show.

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