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Open AccessArticle

Perceptions of Prominent Animal Welfare and Veterinary Care Organizations in the United States

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Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
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Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
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Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(3), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030472
Received: 5 February 2020 / Revised: 28 February 2020 / Accepted: 9 March 2020 / Published: 12 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
Public perception of animal well-being, and pet animal well-being in particular, remains a significant point of contention. This study ranks prominent animal welfare and veterinary care organizations’ perceived impact on pet animal well-being and health care based on U.S. residents’ perceptions, while explicitly accounting for variation between pet-owning and non-pet-owning households. Results suggest that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is perceived as the most impactful organization followed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Humane Association (AHA) were tied for third most impactful. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Pet Products Association (APPA) were tied for fourth most impactful while Banfield was perceived as the least impactful.
U.S. residents’ perceptions of the impact of prominent animal welfare and veterinary care organizations on pet animal well-being and health care may not be linked to the organization’s stated mission and effectiveness in advancing it, but to the level of recognition people have for the groups. An online survey of 1000 U.S. residents was used to understand the perceived impact of organizations with self-stated dedication to pet animal well-being. Using a Likert-scale, respondents ranked 13 prominent organizations as having a low to high impact on pet animal well-being and health care. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) had the highest perceived average impact, while People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had the lowest. A best–worst scaling (BWS) choice experiment was conducted with 7 of the initial 13 organizations to elicit relative rankings by forcing tradeoffs by respondents. Consistent with the Likert-scale results, the ASPCA was ranked as the most impactful organization. The ASPCA’s perceived impact on pet animal well-being and health care may be linked to their high level of recognition among respondents, as this was the organization that respondents most frequently reported having seen/heard stories related to animal well-being and health care. View Full-Text
Keywords: pet welfare; pet health care; best–worst; preferences pet welfare; pet health care; best–worst; preferences
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Ortez, M.; Bir, C.; Widmar, N.O.; Wolf, C.A. Perceptions of Prominent Animal Welfare and Veterinary Care Organizations in the United States. Animals 2020, 10, 472.

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