What to Look For

Signs of Hoarding:

  • Extreme collection and storage of items in the home and in the yard
  • Accumulation of combustible materials (newspapers, magazines, boxes and rubbish)
  • Blocked exits (doors/windows)
  • Narrow pathways in the home
  • Rodent and/or insect infestations
  • Rotting food and/or used food containers
  • Human and/or animal waste
  • Long-term neglect of home maintenance
  • Non-working utilities, such as heat, running water, sewer, refrigeration

Signs of Animal Hoarding:

  • There are a large number of animals present.
  • The caretaker does not provide the minimal standards of care, and neglect often results in starvation and death.
  • The caretaker is neither able to provide this minimum care nor able to appreciate the impact of this on the animals, the household and the human occupants of the dwelling.
  • The caretaker fails to act or recognize the negative impact of the collection on themselves, others and the animals.
  • There is often an extreme difference between the   hoarder’s public persona and his/her clandestine private life.
  • Unless expert psychiatric help is obtained, relapse is · common and hoarders usually return to old ways, even if convicted of cruelty to animals.