Considerations, Constraints and Logistics of Intervening in Hoarding Cases

Marcie Moriarty and Shawn Eccles
British Columbia SPCA

Without a doubt, animal hoarding cases can be some of the most challenging situations an animal welfare organization has to deal with. There are a laundry list of factors that must be taken into consideration when dealing with these cases including, the actual cruelty investigation, logistics around the seizure of the animals from the site, housing the animals both short and long term, providing veterinary care, and placement of the animals post seizure. Then there is the matter of costs – both financial and emotional. It is no wonder that the mere mention of the word “hoarding” can send shivers up the spines of an organization! In this workshop we will explore these challenges using topical case studies and provide participants with some tools on how to tackle an animal hoarding case.

Key Learnings
1. Participants will be provided with tools on how to best prepare for tackling the actual seizure of large numbers of animals from a hoarding situation.
2. Factors to be considered in how to best accommodate the seized animals both short and long term will be discussed.
3. Case studies will highlight some effective ways to deal with hoarding situations through the courts


Marcie Moriarty

With separate degrees in Animal Biology and Law, Marcie Moriarty draws on all aspects of her background and education as head of the BC SPCA's Prevention and Enforcement Department. Marcie was called to the bar in May 2003 and went on to practise civil litigation. Her passion for animal welfare and advocacy soon led her to a career with the BC SPCA in 2005 as General Manager of the society's Cruelty Investigations Department. During her time at the BC SPCA, Marcie has presented to numerous animal welfare and law students on the subject of animal cruelty law and co-taught an animal law class at UBC Law school. In 2012, Marcie took on her current role leading a department that combines both cruelty investigations, stakeholder relations and scientific programs.

Shawn Eccles
Mr. Shawn Eccles has dedicated his career to ensuring the welfare of animals throughout Canada. Having worked with the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) for 35 years, Mr. Eccles is currently the Senior Manager of Cruelty Investigation for the organization. He also manages the Cruelty Investigations Department as well as the BC SPCA Call Centre. In addition to his ongoing work at the BCSPCA, Mr. Eccles has served as a community member on the University of British Columbia’s Animal Care Committee from 2005-2011. He has also been a member on CCAC’s assessment panels since 2003 and was the representative for one of Canadian Companion Animal Coalition’s member organizations, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, from 2011-2014. A tireless advocate for animal welfare, Mr. Eccles has received the BCSPCA Stu Rammage Award twice, and was the recipient of the BCSPCA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.