Next Article in Journal
Can a Red Wood-Ant Nest Be Associated with Fault-Related CH4 Micro-Seepage? A Case Study from Continuous Short-Term In-Situ Sampling
Next Article in Special Issue
The Impact of an Integrated Program of Return-to-Field and Targeted Trap-Neuter-Return on Feline Intake and Euthanasia at a Municipal Animal Shelter
Previous Article in Journal
Operationalizing Principle-Based Standards for Animal Welfare—Indicators for Climate Problems in Pig Houses
Previous Article in Special Issue
Factors Informing Outcomes for Older Cats and Dogs in Animal Shelters
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Animals 2018, 8(4), 45; doi:10.3390/ani8040045

Factors Associated with High Live Release for Dogs at a Large, Open-Admission, Municipal Shelter

1
Center for Animals and Public Policy, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA
2
Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, UT 84741, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2653 KB, uploaded 28 March 2018]   |  

Simple Summary

Better understanding of factors contributing to live release (rehoming) may help shelters improve outcomes. In this study, data were analyzed for all dogs (n = 21,409) admitted over a two-year period for the primary purpose of rehoming at a high-volume, open-intake municipal shelter performing animal control (the Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson, Arizona). Results show that >88% of eligible dogs were rehomed through adoption to the public or transfer to a rescue group. Temporary placement into interim foster homes of dogs who were either not immediately eligible or not strong candidates for adoption due to reasons such as age or health, increased the odds of live release after subsequent return to the shelter, especially for adult dogs. Dogs returned to the shelter after unsuccessful adoption had a live-release advantage as well, which suggested that the temporary experience in a home was not detrimental and may have facilitated the likelihood of live release after return, akin to a foster situation. Over a fifth (21.1%) of dogs originally brought to the shelter for owner-requested euthanasia were determined to be potentially savable and ultimately rehomed. It remains to be determined whether other large, open intake shelters performing animal control can replicate these results.

Abstract

Better understanding of factors contributing to live release (rehoming) may help shelters improve outcomes. In this cross-sectional, exploratory, non-interventional study, data for all intakes (n = 21,409) for dogs eligible for rehoming from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016 are analyzed to identify such factors. Live release was >88%. A total of 1510 (7.1%) dogs interacted with the foster care system, 98.9% of whom had live release. Foster care increased the odds of live release by about five-fold for all dogs (odds ratio (OR) 5.30 (95% confidence interval (CI): 3.13; 8.97), p < 0.001) and by >20-fold for adult dogs (OR 22.2 (95% CI: 5.48; 90.2), p < 0.001) compared to first-time owner-surrendered dogs. Dogs returned from foster care had a 70% reduction in health concerns, as judged by intake staff, compared with dogs sent to foster. In addition to saving 2882 lives, the rescue network utilized by this shelter was estimated as having reduced in-shelter care needs by 13,409 animal care-days over two years. Dogs returned from adoption also had increased odds of live release (OR 4.74 (95% CI: 3.02; 7.44), p < 0.0001). Nearly a third (29.6%) of dogs originally brought in by owners for euthanasia were determined to be potentially savable, and a fifth of the original group (21.1%) were ultimately placed. Less than 4% of dogs presented with behavioral concerns at intake. It remains to be determined whether other large, open intake shelters performing animal control can replicate these results. View Full-Text
Keywords: adoption; animal shelter; dogs; foster programs; length of stay; live release; outcomes; rehoming adoption; animal shelter; dogs; foster programs; length of stay; live release; outcomes; rehoming
Figures

Figure 1

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).

Supplementary material

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Patronek, G.J.; Crowe, A. Factors Associated with High Live Release for Dogs at a Large, Open-Admission, Municipal Shelter. Animals 2018, 8, 45.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Animals EISSN 2076-2615 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top