ASPCA Launches Program to Tackle Animal Hoarding in NYC

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 1:30pm

Brooklyn, New York, 2010— ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents arrived at a small one-bedroom apartment to find 37 cats and kittens living in squalor. Several of the felines were pregnant. L iving among the filth and debris was an older woman who insisted that the animals were well cared for—despite physical evidence to the contrary.

Unfortunately, animal hoarding is more common than many of us realize. In fact, it is estimated that as many as a quarter-million animals per year fall victim to hoarders.

In response to the overwhelming number of hoarding cases reported to our Humane Law Enforcement, the ASPCA launched the Cruelty Intervention Advocacy program. The Cruelty Intervention Advocacy team works with ASPCA Special Agents, social workers and local animal welfare agencies to reduce the number of animal hoarding cases in New York City. To date, the program has assisted more than 20 animal hoarders and rescued nearly 200 animals.


In 2010, the ASPCA conducted a critical intervention—rescuing 37 felines from a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, New York.

“The two main challenges we face are the sheer number of animals we’re dealing with and working with hoarders who are unable to realize that their animals are suffering due to lack of care,” says Fiona Knight, Director of the ASPCA Cruelty Intervention Advocacy program.

The recovered animals are often transferred to the ASPCA Animal Hospital for treatment and rehomed through the ASPCA Adoption Center and various shelter partners. The program also provides Partners in Caring grants to help disadvantaged pet parents provide medical care for animals in dire need.

To learn more about this complex issue, please visit our Animal Hoarding page.