What Is Animal Hoarding And How Can You Help?

Tuesday 15th August 2023

Ellen Warren

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A bloodhound dog sleeping on a tabby cat


The challenges of animal hoarding go beyond clutter; they pose significant health risks and emotional burdens. Hoarding disorder is a complex issue and the individual may feel a lot of guilt and shame.

ICE Cleaning is a professional hoarder cleaning company offering professional and compassionate animal hoarding cleaning services to help restore your home. Our trained and dedicated team can handle these unique situations with care.

Read on to learn more about animal hoarding and what you can do to help a hoarder.

What is animal hoarding?

Animal hoarding, a severe form of hoarding, involves keeping an excessive number of animals without providing adequate care. This behaviour often results in an unhealthy and hazardous environment, with a potential for blocked emergency exits.

The situation becomes critical when unwanted possessions accumulate, creating harmful germs that could lead to poor living conditions. 

This complex issue requires professional services due to its significant impact on the person's mental well-being and the surrounding environment. A discreet clean up consists of gently removing nearby biohazards and eliminating foul odours to restore a safe environment.

The dangers of animal hoarding

The risks of animal hoarding are high, not only to the animals but also people. Health hazards are among these dangers, as unhygienic conditions and harmful germs become prevalent in such environments, leading to illnesses like:

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Cat scratch disease
  • Campylobacter
  • Salmonellosis
  • Psittacosis

Obstructed exits are common due to unwanted items and possessions in a house afflicted by hoarding blocking the way. This scenario heightens fire risks since clutter serves as potential fuel for fires. 

The continuous accumulation of unwanted possessions can result in dangerous living conditions, further exacerbating mental health difficulties.

How to help an animal hoarder

Gaining an insight into someone suffering from a hoarding condition, particularly with animals, is not simple. It can be hard to help a hoarder, but the key to a good approach is to be compassionate and gentle. The situation involves not just the person's well-being but also that of numerous animals.

Gaining understanding

The first step towards assistance means understanding that hoarding is not about a dirty environment or lack of organisation. Hoarding is a recognised mental health issue, so patience and understanding are integral in these circumstances.

Promoting gradual change

In dealing with such sensitive situations, abrupt changes can do more harm than good. Encourage small steps towards improvement and gently suggest removing unwanted items initially. You must involve them in decisions, especially if you decide to call the RSPCA or the local council.

Hiring hoarder cleaning services

If you are concerned about hygiene in an animal hoarder's home, consider hiring professional help from a hoarder cleaning company. A business that offers discreet cleaning services and a compassionate approach can help a hoarder.

How to help declutter a hoarder's home

A cluttered home often presents unique challenges, requiring more than standard house clearance. This cleaning process involves gently removing unwanted items and dealing with potentially harmful bacteria.

The task of decluttering is not simply about disposing of possessions blocking emergency doors or other areas. Instead, it requires careful sorting to separate valuable belongings from the clutter in what can be poor living conditions.

This process often leads customers to prefer employing professional services for their expertise. A deep clean by hoarder cleaners uses the latest tools designed specifically for such tasks.

Making a home safe again includes removing items safely, removing foul odours, and killing harmful germs that pose health risks.

Signs of animal hoarding

The signs of animal hoarding can be alarming, often leading to poor living conditions. An excessive number of animals in a home is one indicator that someone may have a hoarding disorder.

This high volume typically exceeds manageable expectations and raises concerns about the individual's ability to provide care. This includes failing to ensure clean water and food availability, no veterinary attention, and allowing dirt to fester.

Another sign could be unhygienic conditions where harmful bacteria thrive due to waste nearby. Unpleasant odours are also common in animal hoarding, arising from accumulated waste.

Frequently asked questions

Is there free help for animal hoarders in the UK?

There are many ways for someone to get help if they are struggling with mental health issues. In the UK, charities like HoardingUK offer support and advice to individuals struggling with hoarding. Local councils may also assist.

How do you start cleaning when you are a hoarder?

Start small by focusing on one area at a time, and do not jump into a deep clean immediately. Discard unnecessary items and organise the remainder. Consider professional help if it feels overwhelming.

What is the difference between clutter and hoarding?

Clutter involves the disorganisation of items, while hoarding refers to the excessive accumulation of objects which leads to unlivable conditions.

How do you help a hoarder start decluttering?

Gently express your concerns about their safety and well-being. Encourage them to seek professional help for their hoarding disorder and support them until they feel ready to start clearing out their home. 

Get in touch

Our experts at ICE Cleaning understand the intricacies involved with hoarder clean up and can approach each situation with care, respect, and efficiency. Our hoarder cleaning services include safely decluttering and decontaminating a hoarder's house.

Get in touch today on 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to discover our full range of cleaning services. Our professional customer support team can assist you 24/7, and provide you with a free quotation for your required services.

Reilly Peters

Reilly Peters

Business Development Manager

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