Are There Laws Against Animal Hoarding?
Animal hoarding is covered implicitly under every state’s animal cruelty statute, which typically requires caretakers to provide sufficient food, water and veterinary care. Only two states, Illinois and Hawaii, currently have statutory language specifically addressing animal hoarding. With guidance from ASPCA, the Illinois Companion Animal Hoarder Act was created in 2001 to create a legal definition for “companion animal hoarder” and mandate counseling for those convicted of animal cruelty who meet the definition. Animal hoarding itself is not prohibited by the statute. Hawaii’s 2008 law is the only state law specifically outlawing animal hoarding. It does not mandate psychological counseling for convicted hoarders or restrict future animal ownership. Anti-hoarding legislation has been proposed, but not passed, in several other states. See Illinois and Hawaii’s hoarding laws, as well as hoarding-related bills introduced in other states.
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