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.
229 animals cared for by the PetSafe program.
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.
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.
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.