The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC) is a group of researchers who collaborated from 1997-2006 to define and better understand the problem of animal hoarding. We have assembled the resources on this site to increase awareness about a complex disorder which has until recently not received serious attention by medical, mental health, and public health professionals. Today, the mission of HARC continues through the work of veterinary epidemiologist Dr. Gary Patronek and social worker/rehabilitation counselor Jane N. Nathanson.
This site brings together the work of HARC as well as credible resources from throughout the US to help you better understand the phenomenon of animal hoarding, its impact on individuals and communities all across the US and internationally, and finally, its sentinel role for elder abuse and neglect, child abuse and neglect, and adult self-neglect. To accomplish this, we also explore to some extent various other aspects of the relationship between people and companion animals, which helps us understand how in some cases, a positive, beneficial, relationship can become very one sided and go terribly wrong, harming people and animals alike.
Whenever possible, when literature is cited, we link to the actual text or other websites. However, sometimes copyright restrictions prevent us from doing so. Please consult your local university library for assistance in obtaining those references.
Our goal is to eliminate stereotypes and increase the baseline level of awareness of this behavior among those involved in caring for animals, among government agencies, among professionals involved in public health and mental health, attorneys, and forensic psychologists. It is our hope that increased awareness will stimulate additional research and help interested parties come together, so that collaboratively, they may help those involved in hoarding cases – be they friends, family members, municipal authorities, health professionals, or animal protection groups – achieve a more humane and more lasting intervention for all involved.