Canine Rights

Dog Hoarders: How Many is Too Many?

While some dog owners are happily content with just one or two pups to tend to at a time, there are those who seem to simply yearn for more, sometimes referred to as dog hoarders. In fact, it’s not uncommon for pet lovers to want to care for as many pooches as they possibly can. It’s completely fine, so long as sufficient care and attention is provided for the large pack of dogs in your house. Simply having a lot of dogs at home doesn’t make someone a dog hoarder. Hoarding occurs when the need to bring more dogs in is impulsive, even obsessive, despite an inability to provide proper care. Hoarders usually display denial in regards to their ability to care for the dogs.

While there is no specific figure at how many dogs are “too many”, there are several factors that need to be taken into account before you bring multiple dogs into your home.

Important Factors to Consider

1. Proper care. If you think about adding another pooch to your house, you have to first ask yourself whether or not you can still continue providing proper care for the existing pets and any new ones. Bear in mind that every animal requires time and money. These expenses include food, vet care, and lots of other variable expenditures. Because of this, it would be best to gradually add one pooch at a time, then reevaluate before adding another.

2. Available space. Next, ask yourself whether or not you have ample space for the new dog to sleep, run, and play. While this is easier if you have a large fenced yard or if you are living in an open country area, things become tough if you live in the city with a limited home space. In fact, one dog may perhaps be all that’s best for apartment dwellers. Aside from that, try to take into account the various laws and ordinances in your area. Remember, some counties, cities, and states have strict regulations for the kind and number of animals allowed to be taken care of in a single home.

3. Humane handling. Lastly, you have to ask yourself whether or not you are still capable of treating your dogs humanely. It is essential if you breed dogs or have another litter, that you have enough space, time, and resources to keep them fit and healthy. If you are serious about housing multiple pets, you need to ensure that you can care for them properly. To avoid unsolicited litters at the same time help prevent various health problems related to intact animals, you have to see to it that your dogs are spayed and neutered.

However tempting it is to take in every adorable pup that you come across, you should never forget to do what is proper and right for the dog and for the other animals under your care. Those with a dog hoarding problem cannot adequately care for all of their dogs, and typically need medical intervention to stop the pattern of hoarding, as an underlying mental disorder is the cause, rather than a desire to harm animals.

Wikipedia provided this statement to describe the characteristics of a hoarder:

An animal hoarder keeps an unusually large number of pets, but fails to care for them properly. A hoarder is distinguished from an animal breeder, who would have a large number of animals as the central component of his or her business; this distinction can be problematic, however, as some hoarders are former breeders who have ceased selling and caring for their animals, while others will claim to be breeders as a psychological defense mechanism, or in hopes of forestalling intervention. Gary Patronek, director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University, defines hoarding as the “pathological human behavior that involves a compulsive need to obtain and control animals, coupled with a failure to recognize their suffering”.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Avatar Of Vanessa

    Vanessa

    says:

    I have only two dogs and I am having the hardest time deciding if I should add a third.
    My two get a long so well and have such a good relationship, that I am afraid to disturb that. I keep wanting to save another one though.

  2. Avatar Of Lukas Lukas says:

    Yes! Finally something about excessive hair.

  3. Avatar Of Gail Shook

    Gail Shook

    says:

    If the person that said about the house smelling like a kennel is who I suspect they are, perhaps the answer might be that instead of sitting around complaining about there being too many dogs, that you get off of your butt and start helping the lady while she is working to provide for those animals and for you. She might work a full time job and come home to someone that is drinking and can’t keep things cleaned up around the house, now make a bed without getting the incentive when you see her doing things. Try getting up and helping a little more instead of “knocking” her and the animals. Perhaps she is happier with her animals because you only criticize and hit those animals.. just a thought.. maybe you are actually jealous because she loves her animals more than you because of your behavior and in this particular person’s case.. your drinking

  4. Avatar Of Darlene Georges

    Darlene Georges

    says:

    Connie I understand how it is, I had 6 dogs and 6 cats that were all around the same age. One dog and one cat lived to be 19, the others mostly in their late teens, but since they were all around the same age, (then took in my moms 2 dogs when she couldn’t care for one with diabetes.) I lost most of them within a 2 year period and the last 2 dogs a day apart. It was heartbreaking and suddenly my house was so empty and I missed all my babies. They had all been rescues other than 2 that were pups of the others. I decided to wait before getting more due to cancer diagnosis, but a little stray cat showed up and had 4 calico kittens I couldn’t find homes for, then the Dad showed up and my nephew had a kitten he couldn’t keep and before I could blink I had 7 cats. Due to illness and death I’m down to 5 cats and just rescued a dog from the pound that was about to be euthanized. Luckily the dog and cats get along fine. Through the years it has cost me a bundle in vet bills and food, but even at my lowest financial points I still found a way to care for all of them. I have a half acre fenced in yard and I walk the dog 3-4 times a day, the cats go out when the weather is okay as 2 of them have a hard time regulating their temps in the heat. So my pets have a good life and that is what people must consider. I have turned down many offers of free dogs or cats because I know how much I can handle and how it affects the pets already in the home. I think hoarders start out with a big heart, but the head must always have a vote in the decision and they seem to lose that ability. So sad.

  5. Avatar Of Liz

    Liz

    says:

    WE have 5 dogs, all rescues…3 big 2 small. It is a lot of work…we go through 30lbs of dog food a month. But they are all healthy, have their own room, and are exercised daily. Would I take more? No. Is 5 to many? Sometimes, but I love them all and as long as we can take care of them does it matter how many we have?

  6. Avatar Of Connie

    Connie

    says:

    I used to have 10 Jack Russells, golden lab and rotweiller sharpei mix. Currently I only have 1 of those left. We lost all of them after a very long time. Golden Lab lived to be 15 years, Rot mix lived to be 17 years, Jack Russells lived to be 15, 16 and 18 years old. All of these dogs were kept in the house out in the country and a lot of acreage to roam. It is fine having numerous dogs as long as you have the accommodations and you care for each and everyone of them, also providing attention to all. I miss them all very much.

  7. Avatar Of Kathleen Kaska

    Kathleen Kaska

    says:

    Too many is when you can’t properly care for them.

  8. Avatar Of Mickie Van Vooren

    Mickie Van Vooren

    says:

    I am a young retiree and so is my hubby. We have 5 chihuahua’s and 3 papillions all rescues.We love having them they all get medical treatments, heartguard, flea preventitve.Lots of love in my home<3

  9. Avatar Of Cami

    Cami

    says:

    Hoarding and how many are to many, it is such a broad statement. I have been involved in networking with rescue groups, some are open to you being a part of everything and others won’t allow you in where all the dogs or cats are kept. One recue houses dogs in crates and are walked 3 times a day, another has kennel runs, but where they are full the crates are brought out. One I went to i thought wow what agreat place, nice kennel runs, dogs were out and playing, well most of them, the others stayed in runs because they were problem dogs and left out, when the rest were in. What bothered me the most was when it was time for the 100 dogs to go in each run was crowded when the door to the outside run was shut, so there were 4 and 5 dogs in a 5 by 5 inside area with a off the ground bed, some dogs were more active than others and bothered the other dogs in the run, some were dowright nasty to very old guys or special needs in the runs with them and when I said something, there was a response with laughing…..It wasn’t funny to me it was inhumane, how do you stop this. There were 10 runs on each side of the kennel for a total of 20 runs for tons of dogs

    • Avatar Of Jw

      JW

      says:

      To Cami: Contact your county animal control first, and see who oversees what. In Georgia, the Georgia Department of Agriculture oversees animal rescuers.

  10. Avatar Of Mattea

    Mattea

    says:

    I have a lab, a golden and 4 small dogs under 15lbs each. They fit fine in my 3 bedroom house and I walk and run them daily, p lus swim them in the creek. I work out of home so its not ever a problem to care for them.I probably would not get more, and these are all rescues that needed homes.

  11. Avatar Of Kate

    Kate

    says:

    Why is it ok to have 12 kids, but having that many dogs is astonishing?

    • Avatar Of Linda Lord

      Linda Lord

      says:

      Frankly, I find it irresponsible to have 12 kids. No child in that large a family gets what it needs. Overpopulation of people is a problem and some people need to be neutered/spayed as well.

      • Avatar Of Vicki

        Vicki

        says:

        I dated a young man that was the eldest in a family of 12. His father was wealthy and they could easily afford to clothe, feed, house and privately educate the children. BUT, they got very little personal attention. His mom had household help (cooking and cleaning and laundry) but even still, he said he could go days and not have an opportunity to have a personal one on one conversation with either parent. He was 20 and the youngest child was 2. It just seemed so strange to me, being the middle child of 3, to NOT have a one on one conversation with either parent.

    • Avatar Of Noreen

      Noreen

      says:

      Kate, That is same thought I had. I have three inside dogs, all fixed. I would love a female chiweenie cause my youngest is a male chiweenie, gorgeous chocolate coat and he is full of personality. We love him alot and would love another just like him. We have no kids, we lost our only child at 4 years old and could never have another. I told my sister I wanted a little female chiweenie, her reply was “don’t you have enough dogs”….my answer was “don’t you have enough grand children?” We will never have any of what other people have, no grand kids, so if we more dogs, I do not think that is an issue as long as they are cared for. I would probably never exceed 4 at one time.
      They are very protected, healthy, fed well with good dog food, no junk, along with vet care as needed. We treat them as our kids.

    • Avatar Of Sam I Am

      sam i am

      says:

      well Kate can you have puppys

  12. Avatar Of Shawn

    Shawn

    says:

    People should not be breeding dogs, 7 million per year being euthanized because there are not enough homes.

    • Avatar Of Marianne

      marianne

      says:

      Exactly Shawn!

    • Avatar Of Sam I Am

      sam i am

      says:

      my girlfriend has like 6 dogs in the fucking house it smells like a kennel what the fuck you moron dog lovers and i want to buy us a new house with an outside kennel

      • Avatar Of Gail Shook

        Gail Shook

        says:

        If the person that said about the house smelling like a kennel is who I suspect they are, perhaps the answer might be that instead of sitting around complaining about there being too many dogs, that you get off of your butt and start helping the lady while she is working to provide for those animals and for you. She might work a full time job and come home to someone that is drinking and can’t keep things cleaned up around the house, now make a bed without getting the incentive when you see her doing things. Try getting up and helping a little more instead of “knocking” her and the animals. Perhaps she is happier with her animals because you only criticize and hit those animals.. just a thought.. maybe you are actually jealous because she loves her animals more than you because of your behavior and in this particular person’s case.. your drinking

      • Avatar Of Ashley

        ashley

        says:

        I think she should keep the dogs and get rid of you.

  13. Avatar Of Patrice

    Patrice

    says:

    I have two dogs. For me this is plenty and would not have two if I were not a home schooling parent and home to spend time with them most of the time. I have one dog that is an extremely rare breed with special care protocols and has a vet that is highly experienced with working with these dogs. I could not imagine skimping on anything they need just for the purpose of having more dogs.

    • Avatar Of Vicki

      Vicki

      says:

      Hi Patrice. I am a dog lover and a rescuer. I am curious about your rare breed of dog. Do you mind sharing the name of the breed ? I would like to know more about the special care protocols. My city shelter relies on my knowledge of all the breeds of dogs to identify the breeds of dogs we get in the shelter so we can put their bio on Pet Finder and our city web site. I also foster the ones who are delicate and not doing well in the kennel at the shelter. Thank you.

  14. Avatar Of Lucy

    lucy

    says:

    If u don’t have a lot of room id say no more than 3 or 4 after that the rest is probly not getting care and attention they need. Not fair to them

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