Frequency of Lost Dogs and Cats in the United States and the Methods Used to Locate Them
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), 6260 N. Hillside, Wichita, KS 67219, USA
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), 50 Stone Ridge Drive, Northampton, MA 01602, USA
Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 April 2012 / Revised: 8 June 2012 / Accepted: 11 June 2012 / Published: 13 June 2012
Dogs and cats are a common member of the family in homes across the US. No population-based data exist on the frequency of pets getting lost from the home and lost pets can be a source of human and animal suffering. Our primary objective was to determine the percentage of owned dogs and cats that were lost, and of these, what percentages of pets were recovered. We examined the recovery success for dogs compared to cats and the methods used as well as the relationship between lost or found pets and pet and owner demographics. While 15% of dog and cat owners lost their pets, dogs had higher recovery rates (93%) than cats (75%) as well as being returned using different search methods.