• 1. Poss JE, Everett M. Impact of a bilingual mobile spay/neuter clinic in a US/Mexico border city. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2006; 9: 7177.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2. Frank JM, Carlisle-Frank PL. Analysis of programs to reduce overpopulation of companion animals: do adoption and low-cost spay/neuter programs merely cause substitution of sources? Ecol Econ 2007; 62: 740746.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3. Poss JE, Bader JO. Results of a free spay/neuter program in a Hispanic Colonia on the Texas-Mexico Border. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2008; 11: 346351.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4. Scarlett J, Johnston N. Impact of a subsidized spay neuter clinic on impoundment and euthanasia in a community shelter and on service and complaint calls to animal control. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2012; 15: 5369.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5. White SC, Jefferson E, Levy JK. Impact of publicly sponsored neutering programs on animal population dynamics at animal shelters: the New Hampshire and Austin experiences. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2010; 13: 191212.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6. Rowan AN, Williams J. The success of companion animal management programs: a review. Anthrozoos 1987; 1: 110122.

  • 7. Manning AM, Rowan AN. Companion animal demographics and sterilization status: results from a survey in four Massachusetts towns. Anthrozoos 1992; 5: 192201.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8. Patronek GJ, Glickman LT, Beck AM, et al. Risk factors for relinquishment of dogs to an animal shelter. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996; 209: 572581.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9. Patronek GJ, Glickman LT, Beck AM, et al. Risk Factors for relinquishment of cats to an animal shelter. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996; 209: 582588.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10. Patronek GJ, Beck AM, Glickman LT. Dynamics of dog and cat populations in a community. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997; 210: 637642.

  • 11. Salman MD, New JG Jr, Scarlett JM, et al. Human and animal factors related to the relinquishment of dogs and cats in 12 selected animal shelters in the United States. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 1998; 1: 207226.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12. New JC, Jr., Salman MD, Scarlett JM, et al. Shelter relinquishment: characteristics of shelter-relinquished animals and their owners compared with animals and their owners in US pet-owning households. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2000; 3: 179201.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13. New JC Jr, Kelch WJ, Hutchison JM, et al. Birth and death rate estimates of cats and dogs in US households and related factors. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2004; 7: 229241.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14. Faver CA. Sterilization of companion animals: exploring the attitudes and behaviors of Latino students in South Texas. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2009; 12: 314330.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15. Ipsos Maketing and PetSmart Charities. PetSmart Charities A&U barriers. Available at: pschar.pub30.convio.net/resources/resources-documents/PetSmartCharities_Research_AUBarriers.pdf. Accessed Feb 28, 2013.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16. Chu K, Anderson WM, Rieser MY. Population characteristics and neuter status of cats living in households in the United States. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2009; 234: 10231030.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17. PetSmart Charities. Attitudes on pet homelessness are shifting: 2014 US shelter pet report. Phoenix, Ariz: PetSmart Charities, 2014. Available at: www.petsmartcharities.org/sites/default/files/PetSmart%20Charities%202014%20U.S.%20Shelter%20Pet%20Report_2014Oct1.pdf. Accessed Dec 18, 2014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18. MSPCA-Angell. MSPCA Dorr Research: cat and dog populations in Massachusetts. Available at: www.mspca.org/programs/pet-owner-resources/living-withpets/mspca-dorr-research.html. Accessed Jun 14, 2013.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Advertisement

Characteristics of cats sterilized through a subsidized, reduced-cost spay-neuter program in Massachusetts and of owners who had cats sterilized through this program

Valerie A. Benka MS, MPP1 and Emily McCobb DVM, MS2,3
View More View Less
  • 1 Center for Animals and Public Policy, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 Center for Animals and Public Policy, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine characteristics of cats sterilized through a subsidized, reduced-cost spay-neuter program in Massachusetts and of owners who had their cats sterilized through this program.

DESIGN Cross-sectional anonymous survey and telephone interviews.

SAMPLE 1,188 (anonymous surveys) and 99 (telephone interviews) cat owners.

PROCEDURES Owners who had a cat sterilized at clinics held between January 2006 and December 2008 were invited to complete anonymous surveys. Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted with owners who had a cat sterilized during clinics held in 2009.

RESULTS Most cats had never been seen by a veterinarian previously; “too expensive” was the most common reason for this. Total annual household income was significantly associated with the number of times the cat had been examined by a veterinarian and reason why the cat had not been spayed or neutered previously. Most cats were acquired through informal means and without actively being sought, and there was often a time lag between acquisition and sterilization. Undesirable behavior and avoiding pregnancy were primary motivations for neutering and spaying, respectively. Nearly half of owners who indicated they would have had their cat sterilized through a private veterinarian if the clinic had not been available stated that the surgery would have been delayed because of cost.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings suggested that spay-neuter decisions were related to owner income and procedure cost, that elimination of the reduced-cost spay-neuter program would likely have exacerbated the spay-delay problem, and that gradations of financial need should be considered when evaluating relationships between income and spay-neuter decisions.

Contributor Notes

Ms. Benka's present address is Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs, 11145 NW Old Cornelius Pass Rd, Portland, OR 97231.

Address correspondence to Ms. Benka (vbenka@gmail.com).