Animal Protection Line


Collectors of Animals

“Collectors” is the term we use to describe people who accumulate more animals than they can properly care for. The common term many people use is “hoarding”, but there are many different types of collectors and they don’t all meet the cliche image of a hoarder as seen on TV.

Managing investigations involving collectors is challenging. It takes years for collectors to amass their animals and removing them in one sudden moment does not deal with the bigger problem of mental illness and why the person gathered so many animals to begin with. Removing the animals in a calm and methodical manner is more likely to help achieve the larger goal of ensuring the subject does not accumulate more animals.

Peace Officer Karen Stevenson has taken several courses in how to understand and manage cases of collecting. She has helped remove dozens of animals from numerous homes, including 143 cats from one small residence in January of 2020. In this episode of AnimalChat, Peace Officer Stevenson explains the tactics she used to help remove the cats while trying to manage the mental health needs of the owner. Her goal was to get the cats into a safer environment, but also to ensure the owner did not simply replace the animals once we were gone.

Watch video of Alberta SPCA Peace Officers unloading some of the 143 cats removed from an Alberta home

Listen to this Episode

Other Episodes you may be interested in

Alberta SPCA News

animal protection act
Dan Kobe

Animal Welfare Linked to Human Welfare

November is Family Violence Awareness Month When humans are in crisis so are their animals because animal welfare and human welfare are deeply connected. When a life crisis affects a pet owner, their companion animal is likely to feel the effects too. Extending compassion to both humans and animals is integral to ensuring all members

Read More »
Dan Kobe


Your empathy could save an animal’s life this fall! Animals like Bandit need your help… Bandit and his littermates were quickly brought into our care this summer when our Animal Protection Services received a panicked call about injured puppies in a community west of Edmonton. The caller was frantic about the hurt puppies, as we

Read More »
Dan Kobe

Alberta SPCA hands out pet food in Lethbridge

The Alberta SPCA and Community Animal Services of Lethbridge teamed up to hand out free dog and cat food in Lethbridge on Friday August 30th.  Approximately 200 bags were distributed. The Alberta SPCA and Community Animal Services both recognized Albertans are struggling with inflation. It’s hoped by offering free food, animal owners will have one

Read More »

The vision of the Alberta SPCA is that every animal in Alberta be treated humanely.

To hear the latest from the Alberta SPCA, subscribe to our newsletter.

Don't miss new updates in your email

Spring Cash Lottery &

Help Animals Win Cash