Demographic and needs assessment survey of animal care and control agencies

Linda K. Lord From the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Thomas E. Wittum From the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Charles A. Neer From the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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John C. Gordon From the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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 DVM, MPH

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Objective

To characterize demographic and needs assessment information for animal care and control agencies in Ohio.

Design

Mail survey.

Sample Population

222 animal care and control agencies.

Procedure

A questionnaire was mailed to animal care and control agencies in Ohio. Data were collected for 1996.

Results

Of 222 agencies contacted, 180 (81%) responded. Agencies estimated that they spent $28.4 million ($2.47/person). Approximately 339,207 animals were taken in, comprising 214,143 (63%) dogs, 114,877 (34%) cats, and 10,187 (3%) wildlife or other species. Of these animals, a fourth were adopted, about a tenth were reclaimed by their owners, and two thirds were euthanatized. Approximately 302,589 animal control complaints were received, and 22,053 (7%) citations were issued. One hundred three (57%) agencies reported 25,564 cruelty complaints; criminal charges were filed for 543 (2%) cases, with 445 (82%) resulting in guilty verdicts. Among 155 agencies that provided information, 87 (56%) had spay/neuter policies. Only 69 of 178 (39%) agencies reported an association with a veterinarian. Less than half (64/150; 43%) of the agencies administered vaccinations, and 69 of 152 (45%) treated animals for intestinal parasites. The top 5 things needed by agencies were capital/facility improvements, increased funding, improved legislation for animals, educational needs, and veterinary services.

Clinical Implications

In Ohio in 1996, 9.9% of dogs and 4.5% of cats received care or assistance from animal care and control agencies. Only 39% of animal care and control agencies have an association with a veterinarian. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;213:483-487)

Objective

To characterize demographic and needs assessment information for animal care and control agencies in Ohio.

Design

Mail survey.

Sample Population

222 animal care and control agencies.

Procedure

A questionnaire was mailed to animal care and control agencies in Ohio. Data were collected for 1996.

Results

Of 222 agencies contacted, 180 (81%) responded. Agencies estimated that they spent $28.4 million ($2.47/person). Approximately 339,207 animals were taken in, comprising 214,143 (63%) dogs, 114,877 (34%) cats, and 10,187 (3%) wildlife or other species. Of these animals, a fourth were adopted, about a tenth were reclaimed by their owners, and two thirds were euthanatized. Approximately 302,589 animal control complaints were received, and 22,053 (7%) citations were issued. One hundred three (57%) agencies reported 25,564 cruelty complaints; criminal charges were filed for 543 (2%) cases, with 445 (82%) resulting in guilty verdicts. Among 155 agencies that provided information, 87 (56%) had spay/neuter policies. Only 69 of 178 (39%) agencies reported an association with a veterinarian. Less than half (64/150; 43%) of the agencies administered vaccinations, and 69 of 152 (45%) treated animals for intestinal parasites. The top 5 things needed by agencies were capital/facility improvements, increased funding, improved legislation for animals, educational needs, and veterinary services.

Clinical Implications

In Ohio in 1996, 9.9% of dogs and 4.5% of cats received care or assistance from animal care and control agencies. Only 39% of animal care and control agencies have an association with a veterinarian. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;213:483-487)

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