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Animals 2015, 5(4), 1311-1328; doi:10.3390/ani5040413

Risk Factors for Dog Relinquishment to a Los Angeles Municipal Animal Shelter

1
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), 307 NE Thornton Place #510, Seattle, WA 98125, USA
2
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), 520 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018, USA
3
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), 50 Stone Ridge Drive, Florence, MA 01062, USA
4
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), 3201 SW Winding Way, Palm City, FL 34990, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Clive J. C. Phillips
Received: 15 September 2015 / Revised: 16 November 2015 / Accepted: 4 December 2015 / Published: 10 December 2015
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Abstract

Dog relinquishment is a large component of shelter intake in the United States. Research has shown traits of the dog are associated with relinquishment as well as general characteristics of those relinquishing. Low income is often cited as a risk factor for relinquishment. The majority of people with lower incomes, however, do not relinquish. A group of people accessing a shelter in a low socioeconomic region of Los Angeles to relinquish their dogs was surveyed. This study examined risk factors for relinquishment, controlling for household income, compared to a group utilizing low cost spay/neuter services. A total of 76.9% of those relinquishing noted cost as a reason for relinquishment. Of participants in the relinquishment group, 80.7% reported not being aware of any services available to them. Most notable in the findings was that the odds of relinquishment were generally higher as the amount of perceived stress in the home in the past three months increased. The majority of people in both groups reported being emotionally attached to the dog. In this sample from a South Los Angeles community, the majority of reasons for relinquishment were likely solvable with assistance. These findings highlight an opportunity to assess community needs and provide community specific alternatives to relinquishment. View Full-Text
Keywords: pet relinquishment; animal shelter; poverty; dogs; perceived stress pet relinquishment; animal shelter; poverty; dogs; perceived stress
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dolan, E.D.; Scotto, J.; Slater, M.; Weiss, E. Risk Factors for Dog Relinquishment to a Los Angeles Municipal Animal Shelter. Animals 2015, 5, 1311-1328.

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