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How Do You Rehome Animals from an Animal Hoarded House in Phoenix?

Rehoming Hoarded Animals

Rescuing animals from a hoarding situation can seem overwhelming due to the number of pets and the difficulty of helping the hoarder realize that surrendering their pets is the best thing for them. If you are a neighbor, friend, or family member of someone hoarding animals, there are multiple resources and people who can help with the situation and who will take good care of all the animals.

For many people hoarding animals in Phoenix, their primary concern is for the care of their pets. As surprising as this can be given the current conditions, many hoarders deeply love their animals and need to know the animals will be well cared for before they can let them go. It often helps to explain the process of how their pets will be taken care of after being removed from the premises and how this truly is the best thing for all their beloved animals.

  • A rescue organization or local humane society will come out to the property to safely transport all the animals to a care facility.
  • Veterinarians then examine the physical condition of every animal and prescribe treatment, if necessary.
  • If an animal is too ill and cannot be saved, they will euthanize them in a compassionate way.
  • All remaining pets are lovingly cared for and brought back to good health including being given all vaccinations and the animals are all spayed or neutered.
  • When the animal is healthy and emotionally ready to be adopted, the organization finds a forever home for them where they will be loved and cared for.

Once the animals are removed from the premises, the person who hoarded the animals will need ongoing support and therapy to keep from relapsing. Additionally, due to the remaining disease, urine, feces, and accompanying pests, the property will need to be thoroughly cleaned, decontaminated, and sanitized by professional biohazard cleaners for the safety of all those in the area.

If BioTeamAZ can be of any help or answer any questions you may have, please check out our hoarding cleanup services or give us a call at (602) 770-4972 and we will be happy to talk with you.

Animal Hoarding Resources in Phoenix.

There are several organizations throughout the Phoenix area that can provide support, transport, and care to both the animals and the person who hoarded them. Whether the animals are cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, farm animals, wild animals, or any other kind of creature, any of the organizations below will be able to help you find a solution that’s healthy for everyone.

Arizona Hoarding Task Force

“The Arizona Hoarding Task Force (AZHTF) is a collaborative effort of diverse community organizations and representatives dedicated to the awareness, education, and reduction of harm for those impacted by the complex behavioral disorder of hoarding. Our mission is to provide a statewide resource for those individuals and communities affected by hoarding while keeping the health, safety and dignity of the individual a priority.”

Maricopa County AZ Animal Care and Control

Maricopa County AZ Animal Care and Control – “Of the more than 35,000 dogs and cats that enter our shelters each year, MCACC has plenty of animals in search of loving homes. The best possible outcome, is a forever home. Our mission is to be the Life-Saving AARM of Maricopa County Animal Care.”

Arizona Humane Society

Arizona Humane Society – “Services are free and available daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. We respond to all animal emergencies involving sick and injured stray animals except in the cities of Mesa, Surprise, Avondale and Peoria, who have their own Animal Control. For animal cruelty, we cover the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert and Glendale ONLY.”

Phoenix Hoarding Cleanup Estimates are Free

Phoenix hoarding cleanup estimates are free – Yay!


We see all kinds of hoarding throughout the Phoenix area.

  • Animal Hoarding
  • Trash Hoarding
  • Collectible Hoarding
  • Books Hoarding
  • and more.
While each hoarding category has similar issues in the house, no two hoarded houses are the same. Since every hoarding situation is different, there aren’t any real set costs for cleaning up a hoarded home. People call us all the time wanting a cost or a ballpark figure. This is very difficult to do without seeing the situation so we offer free hoarding cleanup estimates in the Phoenix area. Most insurance carriers do not cover hoarding cleanup so it’s a good idea to have a free estimate for the hoarding cleanup before you begin.

Hoarding Cleanup Costs Considerations

There are many factors to consider when providing free hoarding cleanup estimates. Outside of the hard costs like dumpsters and dumping fees, there’s also labor, protection gear, and biohazard cleanup protocols. Here’s a list of some of the considerations that go into the free estimate:

  1. Distance from house to dumpster
  2. Flights of stairs
  3. How many Dumpsters
  4. Dumpster Rental Fee and Dump Fee
  5. Is there a place to put the dumpster
  6. How much sorting will be involved
  7. What type of biohazards exist
  8. Amount of clutter to be discarded

Levels of Hoarding

We prefer to provide free hoarding cleanup estimates on site. When this is not possible, or a ballpark figure is required before moving forward, we will use these levels of hoarding, the square footage of the area, and then ask some questions about the items.

  • Level I – ankle high
  • Level II – knee high
  • Level III – waist high
  • Level IV – shoulder high
  • Level V – above the head

The type of debris and amount of debris greatly affects pricing. Additionally, in the case where biohazardous material are present, the biohazards cannot be discarded in a regular dumpster. It must be handled and discarded properly and in compliance with the rules and regulations of Arizona. There are so many factors that affect pricing that this type of pricing model is a sheer guestimate. Even an onsite estimate can be difficult because of the layers of clutter and the lack of access to areas in some cases. However, an onsite free estimate is still going to give you a more accurate expectancy of cost than this level method.

How Long Does the Free Hoarding Cleanup Estimate in Phoenix Take?

Arrangements are made to meet someone out at the property. We do a lot of hoarding cleanup jobs in Phoenix, and it doesn’t take us long to the survey the area and come up with estimate. It usually doesn’t take more than 15 min at the site to provide the free hoarding estimate in Phoenix.

Get Your Free Estimate

Cleaning up a hoarded home can be overwhelming and seemingly take forever. We can get a home cleaned out in usually a day. Sometimes it can take 2 or 3 in more extreme cases. Stop wondering how much it’s going to cost to get help, and call us today for your free hoarding cleanup estimate. We are fast, efficient, and reasonably priced.

What is Swedish Death Cleaning?

Swedish Death Cleaning

In a book that’s just been released, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson, the author describes a new kind of decluttering called Swedish Death Cleaning. From the Swedish word “döstädning,” (“dö” meaning death and “städning” meaning cleaning), the author explains, “In Swedish, it is a term that means that you remove unnecessary things and make your home nice and orderly when you think the time is coming closer for you to leave the planet.” Instead of leaving closets full of boxes and old junk, Margareta suggests cleaning it before others have to. Though she recommends it for those 65 years of age and above, anyone can benefit from going through their things in this way.

Though Swedish death cleaning can seem morbid at first, it is a wonderful and practical way to help us go through our belongings and ease the way for those left behind. As we live our lives, our tastes and hobbies change and it’s easy to store and ignore what we no longer want. Before long, we have boxes and even rooms full of things we don’t use and have even forgotten. Instead of being surrounded by these things and then letting our family deal with them, take the opportunity of Swedish Death Cleaning to sort all those boxes out and clear the attached emotional weight out of your life.

How to Do Swedish Death Cleaning

Though sorting through all your belongings can seem overwhelming at first, try breaking it up by tackling one small area at a time. Other suggestions include:

Declutter Closet

  • Start with something with fewer emotional connections such as your shoes and the clothes in your closet. If you start with memorabilia and photographs, you may get stuck.
  • Ask yourself if another person would be happier if you saved an item. If not, you can always keep what you want just for yourself in a box marked “Just for me” that they know at a later date can be discarded.
  • Hand down family heirlooms now so you can tell your family the stories behind them.
  • Give special belongings as gifts to friends and family such as a favorite scarf they admire or a beloved book.
  • Donate items and furniture you no longer want.
  • Make sure your records are in order and let other know what your end of life wishes are.

What are the Benefits of Swedish Death Cleaning?

While Swedish Death Cleaning is about preparing our homes for our passing, this way of cleaning also holds a lot of benefits for the ways we live our lives. We often don’t realize it, but the things we own have their own weight in our minds and letting it go lifts us up. These benefits include:

  • It’s easier to make choices in our homes without sorting through all the junk.
  • We don’t have guilt about the items we’re not using.
  • We no longer have to spend all that time taking care of our things and can spend more time enjoying our lives instead.
  • It feels better to only have what you really want and need.
  • With fewer items, it will be safer to walk around your house.
  • We know people already have the family heirlooms and gifts we want to pass down.
  • All our paperwork will be in order for those who will need to go through it.

Remember to Reward Yourself

Swedish Death Cleaning RewardsOnce you’ve finished a section of sorting, don’t forget to reward yourself with something that gives you life. Whether it’s a walk, baking cookies, or going out for coffee with a friend, it’s a reminder that Swedish Death Cleaning isn’t about dying but about living. It’s about evaluating, remembering, valuing, and choosing what’s important in your life and in your home.

Need Help Decluttering or Cleaning Up?

There are companies that can help you declutter if it feels too overwhelming for you or if you don’t want do by yourself. Check out our decluttering and cleanup services and let us know if we can be of assistance.

What Is Hoarding | Definition, Diagnosis, & Treatment Options

What Is Hoarding & How Is It Different From Collecting?

It is usually painfully obvious when someone is hoarding, but a hoarder shouldn’t be confused with a collector or ordinary pack rat.
A collector usually selects a single item or theme of items that they search for and collect responsibly.  Collectors enjoy organizing, displaying, and adding to their collection when their budget allows.  And while hoarders often select items to collect in the same way, their collections usually lack any kind of organization, takes over normal living space, and may lead to the incurring of substantial debt.  Hoarders also lack the pride that most collectors take in their collections, feeling shame and embarrassment instead.

Also, unlike a pack-rat who normally stores items neatly and out of the way to maintain sentimental or appreciating value, a hoarder is much more likely to pile and clutter items wherever they can.

How Hoarding Is Normally Diagnosed

Hoarding is usually diagnosed as someone who:

  • Avoids Throwing Things Away – This may include old newspapers or magazines, empty bags or boxes, food, and clothing that no longer have any value or use.
  •  Experiences moderate to severe anxiety when throwing something away.
  • Cannot keep items or possessions organized.
  • Has an intense feeling of embarrassment about their hoarded items.
  • Experiences a sense of paranoia about others touching their possessions.
  • Fears running out of something or not having something later when they need it.
  • Obsessively checks the garbage in case something was accidently thrown out.

Other factors that might be considered when diagnosing hoarding disorder include:

  • Depression
  •  Social Isolation
  •  Family Problems
  • Marital Problems
  • Financial Difficulty
  • Health Hazards in the Home
  •  Loss of Living Space (i.e. no place to sleep or eat inside the home)

Of course, you should always consult with a medical or psychiatric professional to diagnose hoarding disorder.

Treatment Of Hoarding Disorder

As hoarders often feel a sense of paranoia and compulsion when it comes to their possessions, as well as defensive and embarrassed about their condition, trying to help can be difficult.  Treatment of a hoarding disorder is a slow and delicate process, and it is best to seek professional help from a licensed psychiatrist to avoid exacerbating the situation.

One of the major points of hoarding disorder treatment is removing the clutter from the hoarder’s home.  However, this can be a hazardous process as hoarders often collect food and other items that might pose a risk if handled improperly.

In Arizona, contact BioTeamAZ – the state’s most trusted clean-up and decontamination service – if you need professional help in removing the clutter and getting on with your life.

What Is A Hoarder | Hoarding Disorder & Those Effected By It

The Victims Of Hoarding Disorder

A hoarder can be quickly overwhelmed by the obsessive-compulsive desire to find, buy, or otherwise acquire worthless items.  Though these items can quite literally be anything, some of the most common include:

  •  Old Magazines & Newspapers
  • Empty Bags, Boxes, & Bottles
  • Clothes That No Longer Fit
  • Pens, Pencils, & Other Writing Utensils
  • Food & Beverage Items

Some less common but more extreme examples of hoarded items are:

  • Live Animals (e.g. Cats)
  • Hair
  • Fingernail Clippings
  • Used Bandages
  •  Dirty Diapers

However, unlike serious collectors, hoarders do not generally take pride in the items they collect, which have no appreciable value and normally no sentimental value.  In fact, they may even feel ashamed and embarrassed for their possessions.

There are several other health, psychological, and social problems that may arise from hoarding.

Problems That Hoarders May Face

Hoarding is considered a form of obsessive compulsive disorder, and as such it comes with many issues that other OCD sufferers commonly face:

  • Depression – Due to the compulsive need to collect clutter, hoarders may suffer from feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, and other distresses associated with severe depression.
  • Isolation – Hoarders do not generally invite friends and family into their homes because of the embarrassment associated with their hoarded items, leading to moderate to complete social isolation.
  • Financial Distress – Sometimes a hoarder may collect items that they must buy, which can quickly lead to a loss of income, debt, and even bankruptcy.
  • Marital & Family Problems – The hoarder is not the only victim that suffers from the disorder.  Compulsive hoarding also puts a large strain on relationships with spouses, children, parents, and others.
  • Paranoia – Many hoarders feel defensive and paranoid about their hoarded items, which may manifest in feelings of suspicion toward those around them or hours spent looking through garbage to ensure nothing was mistakenly thrown out.
  • Loss of Living Space – Hoarders often fill their entire home with the objects in their collection, making it impossible to sleep in a bed, prepare and eat meals, sit in chairs or on sofas, or use showers, bathtubs, or toilets.
  • Health Risks – Risk of fire, trip-and-falls, vermin infestation, or disease are common among hoarders.
  • Eviction – Hoarders face the very real possibility of losing their home or apartment from landlord eviction or lawful intervention.

The dangers and problems that a hoarder may face are as unique as the items they may collect.  While it is possible that some hoarders may face different problems than what is listed above, these are by far the most common.

Helping A Hoarder Get Back To Normal

Hoarding is a serious psychiatric condition, and a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist can offer therapy and medications that might help.  Family members can also help by supporting their loved one as they go through the difficult changes associated with ridding themselves of hoarding behavior.

One crucial step in the therapy of a hoarder is to remove the clutter they have collected and return their home to a normal, healthy living space.  This should only be attempted when the hoarder themselves feels comfortable and the hoarder’s therapist feels that it is a good time.
But, keep in mind that a hoarder’s collection may pose serious health hazards, and you should contact a professional contamination disposal service in order to ensure proper, safe, and adequate decontamination of the hoarder’s home.

In the Phoenix area, contact BioTeamAZ, the area’s experts in hazardous clean-up, for peace of mind at the most competitive price.

What Causes Hoarding | Risk Factors & Triggers For Hoarding

Risk Factors & Warning Signs Of Hoarding

While hoarding can occur in anyone without regard for race, age, sex, or economic status hundreds of cases of hoarding have been documented and compared to create a list of risk factors and warning signs for compulsive hoarding behavior:

  • Family History – Genetics may play a role in hoarding disorder as it has been shown in many cases that sufferers have had one or more close relatives that suffered from the condition.  It is still unclear exactly how strong this genetic bond may be or if it is a learned trait rather than a hereditary one.
  • Early Warning Signs – Hoarding behavior often begins at adolescence and becomes more severe with age.  Children and teens who are apt to collect broken objects, trash, or other items that may be considered junk is a strong warning that the individual may suffer from a more extreme condition later in life.
  • Alcohol Dependence – About half of hoarding disorder sufferers have a history of dependence or abuse of alcoholic substances.  It is not clear whether hoarding is a product of alcoholism itself or simply an indicator of a strongly addictive personality that is usually present in hoarders.
  • Social Anxiety – Social anxiety and isolation can be both a warning sign of hoarding disorder and a result of the condition.  It has been shown in several cases that hoarders have isolated themselves socially before the actual onset of the condition.
  • Clutter Collecting – An obvious warning sign of hoarding is the collection of clutter and trash.  Hoarders often have an inability to organize their homes and discard trash, leading to large masses of clutter that can later cover every square foot of their living space.

Another possible warning sign of hoarding is paranoia about personal possessions.  Hoarders often feel uneasy, defensive, or even angry when someone else handles their property.

Triggers That May Cause Hoarding

Triggers for the onset of hoarding vary greatly and sometimes are not present at all.  Hoarding behavior can begin without any notable event having caused it, making it difficult to create a conclusive theory as to what causes hoarding.

However, it has been documented that excessive stress and emotional trauma is often present shortly before the onset of the disorder.  Highly depressed or anxious individuals may be at higher risk to begin compulsively hoarding.

Another commonality in hoarders are highly stressful life events, such as a divorce, death of a family member, or suffering from the destruction of a natural disaster.  Events such as these are often very difficult to cope with, and it may be difficult to decide what to do with leftover items and be feel insecure about throwing things away.

Stopping Compulsive Hoarding Behavior

Though hoarding can be a very mysterious condition it is often treatable through psychiatric programs, antidepressant medicines, and family or peer support.  These treatments can often be intense and difficult as hoarders are usually very intent on keeping their collections intact.  However, with the right program and support network most hoarders respond very well to professional treatment and return to more normal life.

One of the keys to ensuring the success of any hoarding treatment program is to get rid of the hoarded items and clean the hoarder’s home.  This can often be a traumatic experience for a hoarder, but the sudden return to reality is often highly effective.

However, health hazards such as rotting food, animal or vermin infestation, and other concerns should be noted.  It may require the help of a professional sanitation crew to ensure the area is cleaned and sanitized safely and adequately.

BioTeamAZ is Arizona’s #1 hazardous waste control and sanitation service.  Contact us today, we’re always happy to help.

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