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Tufts E-News: Tufts Studies Hoarders

Tufts E-News: Tufts Studies HoardersNew Tufts Study To Research Motives Behind "Cat Ladies"

No. Grafton, Mass. [01.29.01] While cases of animal hoarding have received increased attention recently, CNN reported that a new Tufts study will seek to explain the piece often missing from animal hoarding stories -- "Why?"

"Researchers at Tufts University have started to study people who collect or hoard animals by the dozens or even hundreds," CNN reported. "The goal is to find out what is behind these heartbreaking cases of pet adoption gone awry."

Gary Patronek -- a veterinarian at Tufts -- is one of the nation's experts leading the study.

"The classic case of animal hoarding is a single, middle-aged to elderly woman who lives alone and often in a small house, apartment or trailer -- surrounded by dozens, sometimes hundreds, of animals that are living or dead," Patronek told CNN Today.

While some officials view hoarding as a criminal act, CNN reported that scientists like Patronek believe psychological problems may be an important factor.

"Researchers see a possible link between hoarding and addictive behavior," CNN reported. "There's also the extreme denial about the problem, much like anorexics, who claim there's no problem.

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