I think I could become an animal hoarder. We already have 3 indoor dogs, and we feed numerous feral cats. We also put food out for the birds and squirrels and take food to the woods across the street for the fox, rabbits, possums, etc. I know we don't need another dog, but I keep finding myself looking online at dogs for sale and for adoption. Whenever I volunteer at our local animal shelter, it's all I can do not to take a couple of critters home with me. Where do you draw the line? At what number of pets do you change from pet owner to animal hoarder? Or, is it more about the quality of care the animals receive?
Our dogs are spoiled rotten and get excellent vet care. We've trapped the feral cats so they could be vaccinated and neutered. Our house doesn't contain any doggie poop, and it's usually fairly orderly.
I'm not an animal hoarder, but it sounds like you're doing great things for these animals, and I do think it's about the care you are able to offer them as opposed to strictly the number of animals involved. There is a big difference between creating a sanctuary for animals as opposed to hoarding them.
I don't hoard animals, but they do seem to hoard me. New critters keep showing up outside almost daily.
Yeah, Para, that happens to us, too. It was a lot worse when we lived in the country, on our mini farm. I lost count of the number of "dropoffs" we got. Once we even got a mama dog with a just-born litter of pups. Of course, we didn't turn any of them away. We fed them, nursed them, and found homes for them or kept them ourselves. At one point, we had 5 outside dogs and 15 cats. When I'd go for a walk through the fields, all the dogs and cats followed me, single file. We looked like a parade! At the time, we also had horses, a pet bull, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, hamsters, and fish.
As long as you are able to properly care for the animals, they are clean and have vet care then you are not a hoarder. Hoarders get overwhelmed.
I understand the impulse as I have rescued many strays. I remind myself that I can only do so much.
I'm making a difference in the lives of the animals that I'm taking care of. But if I take in more their quality of life might decrease.
I'm like you, I wish I could take them all in.
I have two dogs and feed the birds. I think that, when animals are properly cared for, it's definitely not hoarding. nd enough people feed the birds that if something happens to one of us, the birds know where there are other bird feeders. I also have plants in my yard that they can feed on.
However, I would taper off feeding the wild animals - the foxes, rabbits and possums. What will they do when they've expanded breeding because the food is available for a higher population, then they become considered pest by your neighbors. Or what happens to them if something happens to you and they suddenly have no food at all? While you mean well, you may be setting them up for a pretty terrible time of it. Just sayin...
I've thought about that. I'm pretty sure there is only one fox left, and I don't know what it would eat if we didn't feed it. They've gradually cleared most of the woods for businesses, so there's just a small area left. When we didn't feed the fox, it came into our yard and carried off some of our kittens, one by one. When I take food to the woods, I don't see the fox in our yard.
Also, when we don't put out food in the woods for the possums, they come onto our deck or into our carport and eat the cats' food.
The thing is, I hate to waste food when there's some critter that could benefit from it. Several of my neighbors also put food out for the wild animals, so it's not like they're depending on just me.
I think you are doing fine, but you know you are at capacity. I would suggest you make clear to family and friends at the shelter that they should help you resist acquiring any more pets so you can focus on the ones you have.
Not quite a hoarder but not far off. Right now we have 3 dogs, 2 cats, 1 hermit crab who desperately needs a friend, a fish (who also needs a friend), 3 Chickens, and 4 ferals who come and go. I know we are maxed out and have told my husband we are done getting any more mammals until one passes. I have to stay away from the shelters and any pet ads.
I have two dogs and an aquarium. Fora single person in an apartment I find that to be plenty (borderline too much) because vet bills are pretty high and whenever they travel for work I need to pay a sitter. A family with a decent income and detached home can easily have more pets and not do any of them a disservice.
Like so many have said, it's not about the quantity, but the quality. If you are capable and have plenty of room, if their care is top priority compared to their acquisition, then you're definitely not a hoarder.
I will say this, though, God forbid anything ever happened where your family, (or anyone who owns a significant number of animals,) ended up in the newspaper... they always list how many pets these people have, how embarrassing!
We just moved into our new home, (from a one bedroom condo!,) and I've found myself thinking more and more often that our cat, Kubla, could use an aging playmate. Ideally, a female cat who was his age, or preferably even a little older. I really feel like it would help to keep him on his toes, it'd keep him younger, etc...
However, he has special dietary needs and my fiance just found out that they're letting him go at the end of the month He's a relatively expensive cat to keep and now I find myself thanking the powers that be that I hadn't followed through on my instinct.
Also, peeples, I have to say, (not sure if you'll see this or not,) I am SUPER jealous of your chicken-keeping. I tried to convince the fiance that we should acquire one or two hens for their delicious fresh eggs but he was having none of it!
I'm currently at my personal limit with two house cats and a large dog.
I think my vacuum would give up the ghost if I added any more pet hair production to the house! There seems to be a stray barn cat that "moved in" out there recently, but I don't feed it and hope it doesn't plan on becoming a permanent fixture once the snows melt.
Real animal hoarders are strange people. A renter I once had was a hoarder, and she 'loved' animals, but for some reason, once she had them, it was as if she simply forgot they existed. She seldom fed and watered them, and never cleaned up after them. When I found out about it (she was arrested for animal neglect and cruelty), I inspected the house and evicted her immediately, because the house was destroyed!
I had to toss all the carpets and drapes because they were so filthy, and then have the house fumigated, and chemically deodorized. Then I had to totally remodel the interior.
I know others have said this, but what you are doing for those animals is just lovely. I have two dogs, but that's it. I wish I could take care of more animals, but I rent, and I don't think my landlord would be too happy if I brought in more pets.
Animal hoarders generally don't consider themselves to be such - it''s usually part of a larger mental issue. These people can start out OK but there is a line. The line is when they are taking on too many animals to financially, emotionally, and physically take care of and when they cannot accept the idea of re-homing any of them to ease the situation. I've had to deal with several animal hoarders... there is a big difference between someone with multiple pets and a hoarder. Hoarders are... exasperating at best.
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