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Commentary

Human-Animal Relationship Dysfunction: A Case Study of Animal Hoarding in Italy

1
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, 80137 Naples, Italy
2
Instituto Zooprofilattico del Mezzogiorno, Via della Salute, 2, 80055 Portici, Italy
3
Department of Veterinary Medicine, Section of Behavioral Sciences and Animal Bioethics, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, 70121 Bari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The authors contributed equally to this work.
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1501; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091501
Received: 15 July 2020 / Revised: 21 August 2020 / Accepted: 21 August 2020 / Published: 25 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Tools for the Evaluation of Animal Welfare)
Animal hording is a psychiatric disorder characterized by the accumulation of animals without providing them with adequate living conditions and the fulfillment of their minimum hygiene and ethological needs. It is now considered as a form of animal cruelty. Here, we present a case of an animal hoarding investigation from Italy that began in 2005 that remains unresolved. We describe the patient’s living and health conditions as well as the legal and animal welfare issues arising from the case. The difficulties that emerged from this case and the involvement of various bodies and agencies highlight the need for a multidisciplinary approach. In fact, this type of problem involves the human, animal, and environmental spheres. Moreover, a holistic approach should be taken and the creation of a National Observatory for Animal Hoarding Disorders could be useful to coordinate stakeholders’ interventions in order to adopt an efficient solution.
“Animal hoarding” or “compulsive hoarding of animals” is a psychiatric disease, which has important social implications and a profound influence on animal welfare. To date, this phenomenon has been little investigated and largely unexplored. The present study aims to systematically describe a case of animal hoarding, which remains unresolved. The report refers to a case of a woman suffering from animal hoarding that emerged in 2005. From March 2014 to December 2019, 450 animals were seized over nine different occasions. This disease had significant implications on the welfare of the animals collected, which lived in poor housing and hygiene conditions that frequently led to their death. Since animal hoarding cases involve sanitary, legal, and veterinary aspects, we believe that a multidisciplinary approach is necessary in order to prevent a recurrence and a new accumulation of animals. A holistic approach should be taken according to the One Health principle that involves different stakeholders at every level in order to adopt an efficient solution. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal welfare; animal hoarding; obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); behavioral and clinic signs; abused dogs animal welfare; animal hoarding; obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); behavioral and clinic signs; abused dogs
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MDPI and ACS Style

d’Angelo, D.; Ciani, F.; Zaccherini, A.; Tafuri, S.; Avallone, L.; d’Ingeo, S.; Quaranta, A. Human-Animal Relationship Dysfunction: A Case Study of Animal Hoarding in Italy. Animals 2020, 10, 1501. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091501

AMA Style

d’Angelo D, Ciani F, Zaccherini A, Tafuri S, Avallone L, d’Ingeo S, Quaranta A. Human-Animal Relationship Dysfunction: A Case Study of Animal Hoarding in Italy. Animals. 2020; 10(9):1501. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091501

Chicago/Turabian Style

d’Angelo, Danila; Ciani, Francesca; Zaccherini, Alessandra; Tafuri, Simona; Avallone, Luigi; d’Ingeo, Serenella; Quaranta, Angelo. 2020. "Human-Animal Relationship Dysfunction: A Case Study of Animal Hoarding in Italy" Animals 10, no. 9: 1501. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091501

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