when the love of animals turns into animal abuse

when the love of animals turns into animal abuse

Every year, people who accumulate too many animals are arrested for mistreatment. The condemned, who originally believe they are doing good for our four-legged friends, are drawn into an infernal spiral which leads to the opposite effect. At the origin of these tragedies, Noah syndrome.

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When we love, we don’t count? More than 150 cats and 19 dogs found dead or dying in a van near Saint-Malo in mid-May. The owner, originally from the United Kingdom, said she was taking a truck tour of Europe with her pets. During the summer of 2023, in the south of France, no less than 166 animals were discovered in an 80 m² apartment….

Macabre discoveries resulting from situations which, according to those questioned, were intended above all to be “humane” and which are far from being isolated cases in France or in Europe. The German newspaper South German Zeitung reported last month that it was not uncommon for “ the police, the administration and animal protection societies discover “123 poodles released from a ward”, or “127 rabbits crowded into a house in Leipzig” or even “2,000 parakeets in a house” “.

Many people who love animals believe they are “doing good” and welcome cats, dogs, reptiles, goats, pigs, birds and rodents of all kinds into their homes, and this in completely disproportionate proportions. These animal lovers think they are helping them when the exact opposite is happening. Too many, their owners are unable to treat them, feed them, or care for them decently. Corpses are sometimes found in homes, some kept in refrigerators, other animals are decomposing or sick and cadaverous.

Denial of reality

Far from being crazy, sadistic, perverse or unconscious but in absolute denial, these people suffer from a real pathology of which they are visibly unaware: a neurological disease called Noah’s syndrome, in reference to Noah’s Ark biblical Genesis (a ship built on the order of God in order to save Noah, his family and a couple of all animal species to save them from the Flood about to come), as there is the syndrome of Diogenes among those who throw nothing away and accumulate everything they find, even trash. Except that here, these are animals and therefore living beings. A Noah syndrome victim owns an average of 39 animals.

This pathology appeared in the United States in the 1980s after animal rights associations saw cases multiply. Women over 45 years old and living alone would be the main victims of this syndrome, the definition of which is as follows: pathological and excessive accumulation of pets. This syndrome is classified in the group of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCDs) and is the result of a significant emotional shock, the death of a loved one for example. Therefore, accumulating animals would make it possible to fill a void or an emotional lack. Like Diogenes syndrome, Noah syndrome is one of the “hoarding disorders” in the DSM V, the reference manual in psychiatry.

Noah syndrome therefore has terrible consequences on animals, but also on the carriers of the disease who live in conditions without any hygiene, which can lead to many other infections.

The animals recovered, in more than deplorable health conditions, are most often taken in by associations. Associations which explain that they have to carry out long work in order to save them and be able to undertake adoptions. As for victims of Noah’s syndrome, forcibly separated from their animals, they are most often convicted by the courts for mistreatment and must begin psychiatric or psychological treatment with the aim of making them realize that even if they want to save animals, the opposite happens.