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To determine whether certain characteristics of dogs offered for adoption are associated with successful adoption.


Retrospective cohort study.


1,468 relinquished dogs offered for adoption at a local humane society.


Data regarding dogs offered for adoption were obtained from surveys completed by previous owners. Data were analyzed by use of bivariate statistics and multivariable logistic regression.


Of dogs offered for adoption, 1,073 were successfully adopted, 239 were not adopted, and 157 were returned to the shelter after adoption. Terrier, hound, toy, and nonsporting breeds were found to be significantly associated with successful adoption (P< 0.05, χ2 analysis). Certain coat colors (gold, gray, and white), small size, and history of an indoor environment were also significant predictors of successful adoption. The correlation coefficient (0.048) indicated that only a small percentage of variance in adoption success could be explained by the multiple logistic regression model.

Clinical Implications

Animal shelter managers with limited kennel capacity may wish to periodically use surveys to determine whether the type of dog being offered to the public reflects the type of dog the public will adopt. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;213:478-482)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association