Special thanks to the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (Tufts University)

Animal hoarding is not about animal sheltering, rescue, or sanctuary and should not be confused with these legitimate efforts to help animals. It is about satisfying a human need to accumulate animals and control them, and this need supercedes the needs of the animals involved.

Animal hoarding is a poorly understood phenomenon which transcends simply owning or caring for more than the typical number of pets. It affects every community in the United States, including Monterey County. It has serious consequences for people, animals, and communities. It is cruel to animals, it can devastate families, it can be associated with elder abuse, child abuse, and self-neglect, and be costly for municipalities to resolve. Without appropriate post-intervention treatment, recidivism approaches 100%.

HARC uses following criteria to define animal hoarding:

  • More than the typical number of companion animals
  • Inability to provide even minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter, and veterinary care, with this neglect often resulting in starvation, illness, and death
  • Denial of the inability to provide this minimum care and the impact of that failure on the animals, the household, and human occupants of the dwelling
  • Persistence, despite this failure, in accumulating and controlling animals.

In a typical hoarding situation, the hoarder will put their own needs to be surrounded by animals ahead of providing even the most basic care. Although professing great love for the animals, they are often oblivious to serious illness, animals in desperate need of veterinary care, starvation, and even death of the animals. Few if any animals are ever adopted or placed, and new animals are never turned away, even in the face of rapidly deteriorating conditions. There are often substantial efforts to acquire even more pets.

Please click here to view frequently asked questions about animal hoarding.

You can help make a difference by reporting animal hoarders to The SPCA or by learning more about animal hoarding.

SPCA’S Commitment

Each day, SPCA Humane Officers can receive reports and investigate cases of:

  • Animal poisoning
  • Malicious & intentional maiming
  • Deprivation of food, shelter or water
  • Cockfights
  • Organized dog fights
  • Permitting animals to live without proper care and attention
  • Animal abandonment
  • Other violations of State Humane Codes

If you have concerns about an animal that is being neglected or cruelly treated, call our Humane Investigations Department at (831) 373-2631, or 422-4721 ext. 213 or click the link below to submit your report online. All reports are confidential.

Our Mission

Our mission is to assure compassionate and humane treatment of all animals in our community.