• 1. Alley Cat Allies. Cat fatalities and secrecy in US pounds and shelters. Available at: www.alleycat.org/page.aspx?pid=396. Accessed Oct 15, 2015.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2. California Food and Agriculture Code Section 31752.5. Available at: www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=fac&group=31001-32000&file=31751-31754. Accessed Jul 17, 2014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3. Griffin B. Scaredy cat or feral cat? Accurate evaluations help shelter staff provide optimum care. Animal Sheltering 2009;Nov/Dec:5761.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4. Humane Society of the United States. An overview of caring for free-roaming cats. Available at: www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/pets/overview_caring_for_feral_cats.pdf. Accessed Apr 30, 2013.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5. Lepper M, Kass PH, Hart LA. Prediction of adoption versus euthanasia among dogs and cats in a California Animal Shelter. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2002; 5: 2942.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6. Levy JK, Crawford PC. Humane strategies for controlling feral cat populations. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004; 225: 13541360.

  • 7. Homeless Cat Network. Available at: www.homelesscatnetwork.com. Accessed Apr 30, 2013.

  • 8. Morrissey C. Project Bay Cat helps San Francisco Bay's rockdwelling kitties. Available at: www.catster.com/lifestyle/project-bay-cat-san-francisco. Accessed Apr 30, 2013.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9. Centonze LA, Levy JK. Characteristics of free-roaming cats and their caretakers. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002; 220: 16271633.

  • 10. Levy JK, Gale DW, Gale LA. Evaluation of the effect of a long-term trap-neuter-return and adoption program on a free-roaming cat population. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003; 222: 4246.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11. Scott KC, Levy JK, Crawford PC. Characteristics of free-roaming cats evaluated in a trap-neuter-return program. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002; 221: 11361138.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12. Wallace JL, Levy JK. Population characteristics of feral cats admitted to seven trap-neuter-return programs in the United States. J Feline Med Surg 2006; 8: 279284.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13. Best Friends Animal Society. Save lives with Feral Freedom. Available at: bestfriends.org/Resources/No-Kill-Resources/Cat-initiatives/For-Groups/Save-Lives-with-Feral-Freedom. Accessed Jul 8, 2013.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14. Jones C. Cats: San Jose shelter spays, releases strays. Available at: www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Cats-San-Jose-shelter-spays-releases-strays-2437677.php. Accessed Jul 8, 2013.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15. Kass PH, Johnson KL, Weng HY. Evaluation of animal control measures on pet demographics in Santa Clara County, California, 1993–2006. Peer J [serial online]. 2013; 1: e18. Available at: peerj.com/articles/18/. Accessed Apr 22, 2013.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16. Johnson KL, Cicirelli J. Study of the effect on shelter cat intakes and euthanasia from a shelter neuter return project of 10,080 cats from March 2010 to June 2014. Peer J [serial online]. 2014; 2: e646. Available at: peerj.com/articles/646/. Accessed Nov 2, 2014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17. Newbury S, Blinn MK, Bushby PA, et al. Guidelines for standards of care in animal shelters. Association of Shelter Veterinarians, 2010. Available at: www.sheltervet.org/assets/docs/shelter-standards-oct2011-wforward.pdf. Accessed Jun 30, 2014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18. Scherk MA, Ford RB, Gaskell RM, et al. 2013 AAFP Feline Vaccination Advisory Panel report. J Feline Med Surg 2013; 15: 785808.

  • 19. Levy JK, Isaza NM, Scott KC. Effect of high-impact targeted trap-neuter-return and adoption of community cats on cat intake to a shelter. Vet J 2014; 201: 269274.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20. US Census Bureau. State & county quickfacts. Available at: quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06085.html. Accessed Jul 7, 2014.

  • 21. The Asilomar Accords. Available at: www.asilomaraccords.org/definitions.html. Accessed: Jul 17, 2014.

  • 22. Maddie's Fund. A guide to the Asilomar Accords definitions: “healthy,” “treatable,” “unhealthy & untreatable.” Available at: www.maddiesfund.org/Documents/No%20Kill%20Progress/A%20Guide%20to%20the%20Asilomar%20Accords%20Definitions.pdf. Accessed Jul 17, 2014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23. San Jose County Animal Care and Services. Shelter data. Available at: www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?NID=3184. Accessed Jul 7, 2014.

  • 24. Edinboro CH, Janowitz LK, Guptill-Yoran L, et al. A clinical trial of intranasal and subcutaneous vaccines to prevent upper respiratory infection in cats at an animal shelter. Feline Pract 1999;27: (6): 713.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25. Dinnage JD, Scarlett JM, Richards JR. Descriptive epidemiology of feline upper respiratory tract disease in an animal shelter. J Feline Med Surg 2009; 11: 816825.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26. Steneroden KK, Hill AE, Salman MD. A needs-assessment and demographic survey of infection-control and disease awareness in western US animal shelters. Prev Vet Med 2011; 98: 5257.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27. Gourkow N, Lawson JH, Hamon SC, et al. Descriptive epidemiology of upper respiratory disease and associated risk factors in cats in an animal shelter in coastal western Canada. Can Vet J 2013; 54: 132138.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28. McManus CM, Levy JK, Andersen LA, et al. Prevalence of upper respiratory pathogens in four management models for unowned cats in the Southeast United States. Vet J 2014; 201: 196201.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29. Roebling AD, Johnson D, Blanton JD, et al. Rabies prevention and management of cats in the context of trap-neuter-vaccinate-release programmes. Zoonoses Public Health 2014; 61: 290296.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30. California Department of Public Health. Epidemiologic summary of animal and human rabies in California, 2001–2008. Available at: www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/sss/Documents/Epi-Summaries-CA-2001-2008-083111.pdf#page=51. Accessed Dec 6, 2014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 31. California Department of Public Health. Epidemiologic summary of animal and human rabies in California, 2009–2012. Available at: www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/sss/Documents/RabiesEpiSummary09-12.pdf. Accessed Dec 6, 2014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32. California Department of Public Health. Rabies. Available at: www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/discond/pages/rabies.aspx. Accessed Dec 6, 2014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Advertisement

Association between a shelter-neuter-return program and cat health at a large municipal animal shelter

View More View Less
  • 1 Health Sciences Practice, Exponent Inc, 149 Commonwealth Dr, Menlo Park, CA 94025
  • | 2 Statistical and Data Sciences Practice, Exponent Inc, 149 Commonwealth Dr, Menlo Park, CA 94025
  • | 3 EcoSciences Practice, Exponent Inc, 15375 SE 30th Pl, Ste 250, Bellevue, WA 98007.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine effects of a shelter-neuter-return (SNR) program on cat admissions and health at a large municipal animal shelter in Northern California.

DESIGN Retrospective cohort study.

ANIMALS 117,383 cats for which data were recorded in the San Jose Animal Care Center database between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2013.

PROCEDURES Shelter records were analyzed for trends in cat demographic data, shelter intake and outcome types, and prevalence of upper respiratory infection (URI) over the 8-year period and before and after initiation of an SNR program on March 8, 2010.

RESULTS Number of cats admitted to the shelter each year decreased significantly over 8 years; beginning in 2010, duration of stay decreased. Proportion of cats euthanized decreased from 66.6% (28,976/43,517) in the pre-SNR period to 34.9% (11,999/34,380) in the post-SNR period, whereas prevalence of URI increased from 5.5% to 6.8%, and median duration of shelter stay decreased from 6 to 5 days for cats < 4 months of age and from 8 to 6 days for older cats. With implementation of the SNR program and a new treatment policy for cats with URI, more cats received treatment with less medication, yielding cost savings.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Initiation of the SNR program was associated with a decreased number of cats admitted to the shelter and a lower proportion euthanized. With increased resources to care for cats with URI and changes in the URI treatment protocol, fewer cats were euthanized for URI and more cats were treated at lower cost and with a briefer shelter stay.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine effects of a shelter-neuter-return (SNR) program on cat admissions and health at a large municipal animal shelter in Northern California.

DESIGN Retrospective cohort study.

ANIMALS 117,383 cats for which data were recorded in the San Jose Animal Care Center database between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2013.

PROCEDURES Shelter records were analyzed for trends in cat demographic data, shelter intake and outcome types, and prevalence of upper respiratory infection (URI) over the 8-year period and before and after initiation of an SNR program on March 8, 2010.

RESULTS Number of cats admitted to the shelter each year decreased significantly over 8 years; beginning in 2010, duration of stay decreased. Proportion of cats euthanized decreased from 66.6% (28,976/43,517) in the pre-SNR period to 34.9% (11,999/34,380) in the post-SNR period, whereas prevalence of URI increased from 5.5% to 6.8%, and median duration of shelter stay decreased from 6 to 5 days for cats < 4 months of age and from 8 to 6 days for older cats. With implementation of the SNR program and a new treatment policy for cats with URI, more cats received treatment with less medication, yielding cost savings.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Initiation of the SNR program was associated with a decreased number of cats admitted to the shelter and a lower proportion euthanized. With increased resources to care for cats with URI and changes in the URI treatment protocol, fewer cats were euthanized for URI and more cats were treated at lower cost and with a briefer shelter stay.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Edinboro (cedinboro@exponent.com).