Phenomenon of animal-Messies – why do people collect sick cats, dogs and birds

In an apartment In Berlin, there were 1700 budgies, in Rottweil 180 cats, rabbits and other animals. If Messies not hoarding useless things, but animals, it’s called “Animal Hoarding”. The German animal protection Association recorded such cases since 2012, and now in Alarm: in 2018, the phenomenon nationwide, 59 cases reached a new peak and record the value. A year earlier, there were 34 cases, an increase of 74 percent.

3888 animals were discovered in 2018, in the case of animal-Messies – this is a new all-time high. A dark figure of cases, the animal protection organisation not known, added to this is the animal protection Association spokeswoman Eva Schmitz said. Well before end-of-year were registered for 2019 already around 40 cases.

Women are hoarding most often animals

In 44 percent of cases, the animal-Messies women in 30 percent of the cases of men and in 26 percent of couples, or whole families, whether the animal has identified the protection of Federal. For the animal shelters each case is a significant burden, because the animals come on a punch in large numbers. Many are in a pitiful state, and sometimes even euthanized.

Psychologists classify the “Animal Hoarding” as a special form of the compulsive hoarding syndrome. “This is an Overlap of different disorders,” says the mönchengladbach-based psychologist Gerd Zimmek. Personality disorder, an obsessive compulsive disorder come. “Animal Hoarding” outer – as with the other Messies – by neglect.

“This is a phenomenon that develops over the course of a very long time,” says Zimmek. A close relationship with animals is evolving. The Affected consider themselves to be animal lovers, or even for animal rescuers. A personal calamity such as a divorce or the loss of a spouse can be the Situation then tilt.

“Animals substitute Partner”

“The animals replace the Partner, at the same time an Overload occurs,” says the psychologist. What is missing is the insight: “you forget that the animals are bad. Even claim that you are well. You trivialize, play with the authorities in a cat – and-mouse game to prevent the court decision and the access to the apartment.” Until one day, then the end point is reached “and the veterinary office is in front of the door because it stinks and the neighbors complain, or even the threat of disease is imminent”.

The Animal Hoarder can be correspondingly rare treat and more likely to be repeat offenders. “If a County imposed a livestock ban to the animal hoarders often and start from the beginning,” says Moira Gerlach, a veterinarian at the Academy for the protection of animals in Neubiberg, near Munich.

To wear that “Animal Hoarding” is not a recognised clinical picture, therefore, there is a “no cash-funded therapy and, accordingly, little contact points for Affected,” says Gerlach. The German animal protection Association therefore calls for a Central register of Tierhortern and an effective animal husbandry prohibition for mentally ill people.

Animal Hoarding: on average, there are 105 animals

People who collect sick animals, keep an average of 105 animals. This figure is taken from a doctoral thesis at the University of Veterinary medicine Hannover by Tina Sperlin from the year 2012, the a long time the only scientific study on the phenomenon of animal hoarding in Germany. Other counts even come to an average of 120 animals.

“If it takes place in a small apartment, the hygienic conditions are often appalling,” says Gerlach. They reported of recent cases across the country: From the king of Moos, in Bayern, Wurzburg via Cologne to Kiel. “In very bad cases, we also find dead animals on the ground. Many others are sick, malnourished, behavioral problems, and correspondingly difficult to explain.”

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