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Animals 2012, 2(4), 611-627; doi:10.3390/ani2040611
Article

Semi-Ownership and Sterilisation of Cats and Dogs in Thailand

1,* , 2
, 3
 and 1
1 Animal Welfare Science Center, School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Monash University, Clayton VIC 3800, Australia 2 Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Gatton Campus, Gatton QLD 4343, Australia 3 Centre for Animal Welfare and Anthrozoology, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 September 2012 / Revised: 24 October 2012 / Accepted: 25 October 2012 / Published: 6 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
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Simple Summary: This study found that less than 15% of Thai nationals engaged in semi-ownership practices, such as feeding, but that few of these stray cats and dogs had been sterilised. Intentions to sterilise in the future were predicted by religious beliefs, attitudes towards sterilisation, perceived pressure from others, and beliefs about personal capacity to sterilise (such as affordability). Community awareness campaigns that approach the issue of sterilisation in a way that is consistent with cultural and religious traditions using Thai role models, such as veterinarians, may go some way in reducing stray animal population growth.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of cat and dog semi-ownership in Thailand and factors that predict sterilisation. Semi-ownership was defined as interacting/caring for a companion animal that the respondent does not own, such as a stray cat or dog. A randomised telephone survey recruited 494 Thai nationals residing in Thailand. The findings revealed that 14% of respondents (n = 71) engaged in dog semi-ownership and only 17% of these dogs had been sterilised. Similarly, 11% of respondents (n = 55) engaged in cat semi-ownership and only 7% were known to be sterilised. Using Hierarchical Multiple Regression, the findings showed that 62% and 75% of the variance in intentions to sterilise semi-owned dogs and cats, respectively, was predicted by religious beliefs, and psychosocial factors such as attitudes, perceived pressure from others, and perceived behavioural control. Community awareness campaigns that approach the issue of sterilisation in a way that is consistent with cultural and religious traditions using Thai role models, such as veterinarians, may go some way in reducing stray animal population growth.
Keywords: sterilise; stray companion animal; semi-ownership; attitudes; beliefs; religion; culture; Thailand sterilise; stray companion animal; semi-ownership; attitudes; beliefs; religion; culture; Thailand
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Toukhsati, S.R.; Phillips, C.J.C.; Podberscek, A.L.; Coleman, G.J. Semi-Ownership and Sterilisation of Cats and Dogs in Thailand. Animals 2012, 2, 611-627.

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