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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the number and species of animals cared for by the PetSafe program at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine (a community service offered to meet the short-term housing needs of pets, especially pets owned by victims of intimate partner violence) from 2004 through 2019 and collect information on duration of stay, outcome, health problems, and expenses.

ANIMALS

229 animals cared for by the PetSafe program.

PROCEDURES

Medical records were reviewed for information on species, breed, age, duration of stay, outcome of stay, client referral source, whether the animal had been cared for previously, health problems, medical interventions, and expenses incurred.

RESULTS

There were 124 dogs, 95 cats, 6 ferrets, and 4 sugar gliders; 187 of the animals were returned to their owners, 37 were rehomed, and 5 were euthanized because of medical conditions. The most common health problems were dental disease and dermatological complaints (eg, flea infestation and resulting fleabite dermatitis). None of the animals had physical evidence of abuse. Mean duration of stay was 22 days (range, 1 to 93 days), and mean ± SD cost per animal was $368 ± $341.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Over the 16-year period of the study, the number and species of animals cared for by the PetSafe program at Purdue and the health problems encountered in those animals were relatively stable, and the program was able to meet the relatively predictable financial costs incurred through existing sources of funding.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective—

To describe dynamics of the pet dog and cat populations in a single community in terms of reproductive patterns and turnover.

Design—

Cross-sectional, random-digit dial telephone survey.

Sample Population—

Information gathered from 1,272 households in St Joseph County, Ind that owned a dog or cat between Dec 1, 1993 and Nov 30, 1994 was compared with data on 9,571 dogs and cats received by the Humane Society of St Joseph County during the same period.

Results—

Prevalence of pet ownership was lower than expected, compared with consumer panel surveys. Eight hundred forty-three of 1,335 (63.1%) dogs were neutered, compared with 816 of 1,023 (79.8%) cats. Cost was cited as a reason that 35 of 441 (7.9%) dogs and 34 of 132 (25.8%) cats were not neutered. Only 33 of 968 (3.4%) dog-owning households reported that their dog had had a litter during the past year, whereas 52 of 662 (7.9%) cat-owning households reported their cat had had a litter of kittens. Most cat litters were unplanned, whereas two thirds of dog litters were planned. Annual turnover in owned pets was 191 of 1,354 (14.1%) dogs and 194 of 1,056 (18.4%) cats. Pet owners underreported relinquishing pets to a shelter in the telephone survey.

Clinical Implications—

A combination of animal shelter- and human population-based data are needed to describe pet population dynamics in a community. Information about species-specific reproductive patterns is essential in designing population control programs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;210:637–642)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine risk factors for pet evacuation failure during a flood.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Sample Population—203 pet-owning households in a flooded region.

Procedures—Persons under evacuation notice because of a flood were interviewed by use of a random telephone survey.

Results—102 households evacuated with their pets, whereas 101 households evacuated without their pets. Low pet attachment and commitment scores were significantly associated with a greater chance of pet evacuation failure. Risk of pet evacuation failure and lower attachment and commitment scores were also associated with pet management practices prior to the disaster, such as dogs being kept outdoors most of the time or owners not having carriers for their cats. More than 90% of owners made housing arrangements for their pets without assistance.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Predictors of pet evacuation failure are usually present before a disaster strikes and are potentially modifiable. Mitigation of pet evacuation failure should focus on activities that reinforce responsible pet ownership and strengthen the human-animal bond, including socializing dogs, attending dog behavior training classes, transporting cats in nondisaster times, and seeking regular preventive veterinary care. Most pet owners are self-reliant in disasters, and this behavior should be encouraged. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1905–1910)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To identify feline and household characteristics associated with relinquishment of a pet cat to an animal shelter.

Design

Case-control study.

Sample Population

Households that relinquished cats for adoption (case households) and a random sample of current cat-owning households in the same community (control households).

Results

Potentially modifiable risk factors with the highest population attributable risk for relinquishment were owners having specific expectations about the cat's role in the household, allowing the cat outdoors, owning a sexually intact cat, never having read a book about cat behavior, cats having daily or weekly inappropriate elimination, and inappropriate care expectations. Frequency of inappropriate elimination and aggression toward people were not associated with declaw status, but these behaviors were more common among sexually intact cats, compared with sterilized cats. Owners of cats in case households were more likely than owners in control households to cite cost of sterilization as a reason a cat was sexually intact. Cats found as strays and cats acquired with minimal planning were at decreased risk of relinquishment. Clinical Implications—The identified risk factors can be modified by cat owners and veterinarians to decrease the estimated 4 million cats euthanatized annually in animal shelters. Owner education programs are needed as well as increased awareness on the part of cat owners and veterinarians of the importance of resolving feline inappropriate elimination problems. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:582-588)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To identify canine and household characteristics associated with relinquishment of a pet dog to an animal shelter.

Design

Case-control study.

Sample Population

Households that relinquished dogs for adoption (case households) and a random sample of current dog-owning households in the same community (control households).

Results

Potentially modifiable factors that explained the highest proportion of relinquishment were owners not participating in dog obedience classes after acquisition, lack of veterinary care, owning a sexually intact dog, inappropriate care expectations, and dogs having daily or weekly inappropriate elimination. Dogs obtained from shelters, kept in crates, or acquired at ≥ 6 months of age were at increased risk of relinquishment. Greater purchase price was associated with decreased risk of relinquishment, but relinquishment was not associated with the degree of planning to acquire the dog. Dogs with behavioral problems and little veterinary care were at greater risk of relinquishment than were dogs with regular veterinary care, and behavioral problems were associated with inappropriate care expectations.

Clinical Implications

Risk factors identified in this study can be modified by dog owners and veterinarians to decrease the estimated 2 million dogs euthanatized annually in animal shelters. Veterinarians should educate owners about typical dog behavior, routine care requirements and training, and the importance of regular veterinary visits; should incorporate wellness concepts in their practice; and should focus on preventive medicine and behavioral consultation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996,209:572-581)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association