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Animal 'hoarder' discovered near Villach

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Animal 'hoarder' discovered near Villach
We're pretty sure there were no rabbits, but this is what animal hoarding looks like. Photo: Stefan Körner
19:55 CEST+02:00
A bailiff visiting a remote house in the district of Villach in the Austrian state of Carinthia notified police and animal protection officers of a case of suspected animal hoarding.

The man's house was discovered to contain two dogs, nine house cats, three turtles, some 40 mice and 30 assorted birds.  

Most of the animals were living in what were described as 'catastrophic' hygiene conditions within the man's home.

Also around the house were discovered to be living many more feral cats.

Animal hoarding is a recognized symptom of a psychiatric disorder.  It is usually associated with denial and extreme compulsion, but is rarely a case of intentional cruelty.

According to an academic study by Colin Berry, et al.,  the distinguishing feature is that a hoarder "fails to provide the animals with adequate food, water, sanitation, and veterinary care, and... is in denial about this inability to provide adequate care."

The animals have now been seized, and were taken to the Villach animal shelter for assessment by a veterinarian.

Villach is the seventh largest city in Austria.  Since you started reading this article, there are now 42 mice.

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