Pet Adoption, Rescue or Shelters
Effect of Gentle Stroking and Vocalization on Behaviour, Mucosal Immunity and Upper Respiratory Disease in Anxious Shelter CatsSubmitted on Sep 17, 2014 (Original item from 2014) Companion Animals | General Animal Protection
This study tested whether multiple daily petting sessions of cats during their first 10 days at an animal shelter would improve their resistance to respiratory infections by reducing stress. Cats in the control group were 2.4 times more likely to contract a respiratory illness than cats who were petted. Control cats also experienced increased shedding over the study period, and reactivation of latent infections. Cats who were aggressive at intake were petted using a tool. None remained aggressive by the 6th day. These cats would likely have been euthanized as unsocializable ferals if they had not been assigned to the study.
This study analyzes the responses of 100 surveys completed by guardians of companion birds (primarily parrots), in combination with observations at a specialty avian veterinary clinic. The overwhelming majority of guardians (87%) were female, 57% were bird guardians or knew bird guardians as children, 86% regarded their birds as family members and 60% had made provisions for their long-lived birds in the event of their death. The article discusses health, social and welfare needs of companion birds, with special attention to problematic behaviors of guardians that may negatively impact their companions.
Dogs are routinely housed in pairs in animal shelters to reduce stress, since they are a social species. This study examined whether separation of these pairs due to euthanasia or adoption produced stress. Dogs were separated after spending 7-8 weeks together. Their hormone and antibody levels were measured and their behavior was observed. Changes were found in immune response and some behaviors after separation, suggesting that it may be stressful.
Candidates for the Washington State Senate and House of Representatives in 2014 were surveyed on strengthening animal cruelty, animal protection and animal fighting laws, funding animal care and control services, phasing out lead shot, and licensing animal sellers. 30% of candidates responded. A large majority supported tightening animal protection laws and funding municipal animal services. Smaller majorities supported seller licensing and eliminating lead shot. The report includes copies of each completed survey.
United Kingdom veterinary charity, the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), annually surveys companion animal guardians, children aged 10-16, and veterinary staff to measure the well-being of cats, dogs, and rabbits according to 5 legislated "Duty of Care" criteria. Participants are selected to represent the population by pet species, the owner’s gender, social grade, age and geographical region. Questions pertain to environment, diet, behavior, companionship and health. Veterinarian and guardian attitudes on care practices and public policy issues are also contrasted.
Effect of High-Impact Targeted Trap-Neuter-Return and Adoption of Community Cats on Cat Intake to a ShelterSubmitted on Jul 23, 2014 (Original item from 2014) Companion Animals | General Animal Protection
This study targeted one low-income urban area within a large Florida county for a program to reduce the number of cats brought to the county shelter. Over a two-year period, residents were provided with education on the need for sterilization, free trapping and spay-neuter services, and counseling on cat-related problems. Social cats (mostly kittens) were offered for adoption, while others were returned to the community. Shelter cat intake was tracked by zip code, and dropped by 66% in the target area during the study period, compared to little change in the rest of the county.
This study compared length of time to adoption and adopter profiles of dogs adopted from a shelter to dogs adopted from a foster home program. Fostered dogs took longer to adopt, but returns were lower. The majority of foster dog adopters first learned about the dog online, while shelter adopters first learned through a visit. Foster dog adopters also took more time to think over the adoption decision, and came from a broader area than in-shelter adopters.
This report summarizes results from Year 7 of the Animal Tracker, an annual survey of U.S. adults regarding their attitudes and behavior toward animals. In summary, the most recent survey continues to show strong support for humane education and many other animal advocacy tactics. However, there appears to be a slight erosion in this support compared with survey results from 2011 and 2008 and fewer people are engaging in animal-friendly behavior compared with previous years.
This study surveyed factors in a potential guardian's adoption decision after interacting with a dog in a visitor space at an animal shelter. Having the intention to adopt was the best predictor of adoption - however, 41% of respondents with that intention did not adopt. Lack of interaction by the dog, either by disinterest in play, or not lying down close to the visitor, was the best predictor of non-adoption. The visiting location also seemed to have an influence on the adoption decision. Training dogs in desired behaviors may improve adoption rates, but more research is needed to confirm and refine the results.
Guest blogger Ivy Collier introduces us to the growing network of companion animal rescue transport. The mission of these groups is to move animals from saturated, high-euthanasia localities to other areas where the odds for adoption may seem to be more promising. But documentation of impacts on either end is scanty. Many questions are raised, and in the absence of research on the effectiveness of these efforts, most remain unanswered.
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