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  B. Animal Hoarding is a Psychological Disorder

Narrator: This is Science Today. Animal hoarding is a type of animal abuse in which people ‘collect' animals – sometimes up to hundreds at a time – and keep them in deplorable living conditions. Catherine Toft, a population ecologist at the University of California , Davis and expert in the field, says that animal hoarding is actually a psychological disorder.

Toft: It's a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Many people hoard stuff and they've done a lot of research on that. But when you add animals to the mix, it's a very small subset of that population and really very, very misunderstood for a long time because it appeared to look like other things.

Narrator: Toft says she thinks animal hoarding is much more common than we know.

Toft: It's a secretive activity. Hoarders know that there's something wrong with what they're doing and they try to hide it and it's very misunderstood. But I'd like to thank the media for helping us find out how common it is and also provide some exposure to animal hoarding to the public.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.