Tonight, Animal Planet promises to take “an unflinching, honest look at animal hoarding, the people and pets affected, and the challenges of confronting this psychological condition” in a six-part series titled “Confessions: Animal Hoarding” (9 p.m. est/pst). Each episode follows individuals struggling with the compulsive need to possess and control an unmanageable number of animals of a variety of species (cats, dogs, birds, farm animals, fish, etc.), as well as the interventions of family, friends, psychologists, animal welfare experts and veterinarians.
Hoarding is also a topic on our minds at Bark. In a story for the September 2010 issue, Rebecca Wallick explores the condition through the lens of “rescue hoarding,” a particularly insidious incarnation of the compulsion, in which hoarders present themselves as rescues, shelters and no-kill sanctuaries.
We’ll be watching tonight with the hope the series sheds thoughtful (non-exploitive) light on a devastating compulsion that results in the starvation, illness and death of many animals, in addition to the destruction of human relationships and health.