Pet Adoption, Rescue or Shelters
United Kingdom veterinary charity, the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), surveyed companion animal guardians, children, and veterinary staff to measure the well-being of cats, dogs, and rabbits according to 5 legislated "Duty of Care" criteria: environment, diet, behavior, companionship and health. Special sections highlighting companion animal obesity, behavior training, and the decision-making process leading up to guardianship comprise the bulk of the magazine-style 2012 report. Veterinarian and guardian answers to survey questions on care practices and public policy issues are contrasted.
What prompted this son of wealth, with little history of persistent effort or particular accomplishments, to suddenly become a hands-on, full-time animal advocate when he was well into his 50s? A lot of people have wondered, including those who knew him at the time. The mystery is intensified when we read that the founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals didn’t actually like animals!
Trends in Intake and Outcome Data for Animal Shelters in a Large U.S. Metropolitan Area, 1989 to 2010Submitted on Mar 26, 2014 (Original item from 2014) Companion Animals | General Animal Protection
The authors of this article compiled statistics from 4 large animal shelters in the greater Denver, CO metropolitan area over a 22 year period (1989-2010). Overall, intake and euthanasia of dogs and cats dropped substantially over the study period. However, intake and euthanasia of cats increased slightly over the past decade, for reasons that are unclear. More detailed record-keeping, particularly for cats, could help identify additional interventions to increase adoptions and continue to reduce overpopulation and euthanasia.
National Survey Shows Majority of Americans Polled Support Freedom to Choose Dogs, Regardless of BreedSubmitted on Mar 19, 2014 (Original item from 2014) Companion Animals | General Animal Protection
In response to public or media pressure following high-profile dog attack incidents, many countries have banned or restricted ownership of certain dog breeds. However, research indicates that dog attacks are influenced by many factors aside from breed, and that breed-specific legislation is ineffective at reducing dog bites or improving public safety. 17 U.S. states have passed bills to prohibit breed discrimination and enact behavior-based, breed-neutral dangerous dog laws. This article cites a recent survey that shows widespread support for this trend. The authors call for ordinances that protect communities from any dangerous dog, regardless of breed, and also protect dogs from abusive or neglectful owners.
Physical and Behavioral Measures that Predict Cats’ Socialization in an Animal Shelter Environment During a Three Day PeriodSubmitted on Mar 12, 2014 (Original item from 2013) Companion Animals | General Animal Protection | Research Tools and Methods
This article describes the third phase of a three-part study. The research was designed to develop simple and reliable tools to assess the socialization levels of cats within their first 3 days at a shelter. 297 cats with a wide range of socialization levels were held in a shelter-like bank of steel cages. At established intervals, an assessor interacted with the cats in various ways and monitored them for specific indicators. Some key measures were identified to distinguish socialized cats, most effectively over the full three-day period. Further testing is planned to finalize the assessment tool.
This website shows the results of an online survey of 5,000 people who work with dogs. Respondents viewed photos of 100 dogs, and recorded what breed or breeds they thought the dog was. The dogs had been DNA-tested, and each had 25% of at least one breed in their genetic profile. Responses were counted as accurate if the survey participant identified any breed that was part of the dog's heritage, no matter how small the percentage. Respondents varied widely in their guesses, and accuracy was low for most dogs. Visitors to the website can view the photos, the top survey responses, and the actual DNA profile for each dog.
This PowerPoint presentation from The Shelter Pet Project illustrates the step-by-step process of analyzing the problem of pet overpopulation, setting a goal (more adoption from shelters instead of breeders), identifying a target audience, and determining the best way to reach them with the message. Research is applied at each step, and provides many valuable insights (such as differences between dog and cat guardians, regional differences, and the qualities potential adopters associate with shelter animals vs. animals from breeders), as well as guiding goals and strategies.
The authors of this study reviewed 22 cases of animal hoarding in Australia, looking at the demographics and living conditions of the household and animals, details of enforcement, and outcome for the animals and community. Types and numbers of animals hoarded varied widely, with some patterns related to the age and gender of the hoarder. In contrast to U.S. cases, animals were generally well-fed. However, large numbers of animals, especially cats, were euthanized as unadoptable due to "behavior problems." Most animals were acquired through uncontrolled breeding, with some variation by species. Unlike U.S. animal hoarders, Australian animal hoarders do not necessarily hoard objects, and are less likely to live alone. Initial complaints were often misdirected, and communication between enforcement agencies was poor. Recidivism was very high. Animal welfare agencies are already working on better rehabilitation to reduce euthanasia. The authors call for sterilization of animals returned to hoarders to reduce future hoarding, and interagency cooperation to best address the needs of both hoarders and animals.
This study presents a model that can be used by animal shelters to compare the effectiveness of various management strategies. The authors present the model along with a number of hypothetical adoption and fundraising scenarios including: 1) general strategies – altering adoptions fees and associated adoption numbers; creating a continued giving environment; promoting adoption events; and re-evaluating adoption criteria; and 2) specific strategies – altering adoption fees and total numbers of animals handled; analyzing low, fair, and high returns to additional promotion spending; and investigating zero-fee adoptions. The study found that increasing animal numbers without increasing adoption fees or donations caused costs to increase faster than total revenues. The model, the authors suggest, can assist shelter staff in improving their fiscal health as well as their ability to save lives.
This blog examines puppy mills in the U.S. It explains what they are, how they came to be, the number that are in operation, and how many dogs are impacted. The piece also outlines some of the many problems with these facilities and explains how the new Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (PUPS Act) can address the so-called “Internet loophole” in puppy sales.
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