- freely available
Animals 2014, 4(3), 409-433; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani4030409
2. Experimental Section
2.1. Participating Shelters
2.2. Survey Participants
2.3. Survey Design
2.4. Management of Responses
2.5. Statistical Analysis
3.1. Household Characteristics
|Household Income ($)||No. *||%||No. *||%|
|Ethnic Background **||No. *||%||No. *||%|
|Education level||No. *||%||No. *||%|
|Did not complete high School||9||12.7||0||-|
|Some college, associate degree||23||32.4||23||29.9|
|Do not know||1||1.4||0||-|
|Type of Dwelling **||No. *||%||No. *||%|
|Apartment or condo||58||80.6||39||50.0|
|Single family housing||6||8.3||23||29.5|
|Ages of House Hold members (y)||No. *||%||No. *||%|
3.2. Dog Characteristics
3.2.1. Age, Gender and Number of Dogs in the Household
|Age Group (y)||No. *||%||No. *||%|
|Breed Group **||No. *||%||No. *||%|
|Veterinary Visits **||No. *||%||No. *||%|
|Purebred **||No. *||%||No. *||%|
|Do not know||7||9.2||0||-|
|Neutered **||No. *||%||No. *||%|
|Do not know||1||1.3||0||-|
|Gender||No. *||%||No. *||%|
3.2.2. Neutering, Age at Neutering and Visits to the Veterinarian
3.2.3. Reported Purebred Status and Breed
3.3. Ownership Characteristics
|Cost of dog||No *||%||No *||%|
|$0.01 to <$300||12||15.8||19||21.6|
|Where did they obtain dog||No *||%||No *||%|
|Why did they obtain the dog **||No *||%||No *||%|
| Companion to child|
Companion to adult
|“Just wanted a dog”||25||32.9||3||3.4|
|To help a friend||18||23.7||3||3.4|
|To save a life||14||18.4||0||-|
|Spur of the moment||14||18.4||0||-|
|Teach child responsibility||8||10.5||0||-|
|Length of ownership (months)|
Why Did They Choose and What Did They Like Best about the Dog?
3.4. Relinquishment of the Dog
3.4.1. Reservations with Regards to Acquiring the Dog Initially
3.4.2. Changes in the Household Leading to Relinquishment
3.4.3. Decision Factors Considered before Relinquishment
|Length of deliberation (wk)|
>1 to <4
|No. *||%||No. *||%|
|Who made the decision|
|No. *||%||No. *||%|
|Options considered **|
Giveaway/tried to sell
|No. *||%||No. *||%|
3.4.4. Assistance that Might Have Prevented Relinquishment
5. Potential Limitations
Conflict of Interest
References and Notes
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Pet statistics. Available online: http://www.aspca.org/about-us/faq/pet-statistics.html (accessed on 11 April 2014).
- Brown, W.P.; Davidson, J.P.; Zuefle, M.E. Effects of phenotypic characteristics on the length of stay of dogs at two no kill animal shelters. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 2013, 16, 2–18. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Posage, J.M.; Bartlett, P.C.; Thomas, D.K. Determining factors for successful adoption of dogs from an animal shelter. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 1998, 213, 478–482. [Google Scholar]
- Patronek, G.J.; Glickman, L.T.; Moyer, M.R. Population dynamics and the risk of euthanasia for dogs in an animal shelter. Anthrozoos 1995, 8, 31–43. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Shore, E.; Petersen, C.; Douglas, D. Moving as a reason for pet relinquishment: A closer look. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 2003, 6, 39–52. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Salman, M.D.; New, J.G., Jr.; Scarlett, J.M.; Kris, P.H.; Ruch-Gallie, R.; Hetts, S. Human and animal factors related to the relinquishment of dogs and cats in 12 selected animal shelters in the United States. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 1998, 1, 207–226. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- New, J.C.; Salman, M.D.; King, M.; Scarlett, J.M.; Kass, P.H.; Hutchinson, J.M. Characteristics of shelter-relinquished animals and their owners compared with animals and their owners in U.S. pet-owning households. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 2000, 3, 179–201. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Patronek, G.J.; Glickman, L.T.; Beck, A.M.; McCabe, G.P.; Ecker, C. Risk factors for relinquishment of dogs to an animal shelter. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 1996, 209, 572–581. [Google Scholar]
- Scarlett, J.M.; Salman, M.D.; New, J.G., Jr.; Kass, P.H. Reasons for Relinquishment of Companion Animals in U.S. Animal Shelters: Selected Health and Personal Issues. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 1999, 2, 41–57. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Houpt, K.A.; Honig, S.U.; Reisner, I.R. Breaking the human-companion animal bond. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 1996, 208, 1653–1658. [Google Scholar]
- Shore, E.R. Returning a recently adopted companion animal: Adopters’ reasons for and reactions to the failed adoption experience. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 2005, 8, 187–198. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Lepper, M.; Kass, P.H.; Hart, L.A. Prediction of adoption versus euthanasia among dogs and cats in a California animal shelter. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 2002, 5, 29–42. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Kwan, J.Y.; Bain, M.J. Owner attachment and problem behaviors related to relinquishment and training techniques of dogs. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 2013, 16, 168–183. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- DiGiacomo, N.; Arluke, A.; Patronek, G. Surrendering pets to shelters: The relinquisher’s perspective. Anthrozoos 1998, 11, 41–51. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Weise, L. South LA shelter intervention program statistics. 2013. Available online: http://www.downtowndogrescue.org/2013-shelter-intervention-program-stats/ (accessed on 11 April 2014).
- Animal Care & Control NYC. Intake and outcome totals of dogs. Available online: http://www.nycacc.org/pdfs/stats/2013/dec/intake-outcome-2012-dogs_v15.pdf (accessed on 11 April 2014).
- Shain, S.; District of Columbia, USA. Personal communication, 5 February 2014.
- American Kennel Club. AKC dog registration statistics. Available online: http://www.akc.org/reg/dogreg_stats.cfm (accessed on 11 April 2014).
- Banfield Pet Hospital. State of pet health 2013 report. Available online: http://www.StateofPetHealth.com (accessed on 11 April 2014).
- American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. National Pet Owners Survey. Available online: http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp (accessed on 11 April 2014).
- Salman, M.D.; Hutchinson, J.; Ruch-Gallie, R.; Kogan, L.; New, J.C., Jr.; Kass, P.H.; Scarlett, J.M. Behavioral reasons for relinquishment of dogs and cats to 12 shelters. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 2000, 3, 93–106. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
Large Dog Relinquishment Survey
- Have a dog that appears to be at least 4 months of age
- Have a dog that appears to be at least 40 lbs
- Have a mother with a litter of puppies (you will interview the owner regarding the mother)
- Those coming with cats
- Those coming with a litter of puppies without the mother
Script to intro the survey:
For people who are visibly upset:
For people who just seem to be in a hurry/are indifferent:
- Does (dog’s name) belong to you or a family member?
- If no, please say: “Thank you for your time. We are conducting a survey in which we need to speak with either the owner of the pet or a family member.”
- If yes, ask: “Will you be able to answer questions about this dog’s history in the home?”
- Have you owned (dog’s name) for less than 2 weeks?
- If they have had the dog for less than 2 weeks, please say: “Thank you for your time. We are conducting a survey in which we need for the dog to have been in the home for at least 2 weeks. We don’t have any more questions for you at this time.”
- How many other dogs are in the household from which (dog’s name) came? __________________
- Is (dog’s name)
- a male
- a female
- How old is (dog’s name)?
- < 3 months
- 3 to < 6 mo
- 6 to < 9 mo
- 9 to < 12 mo
- 1 to < 2 yrs
- 2 to < 4 yrs
- 4 to < 5 yrs
- 5 to < 10 yrs
- 10 to < 15 yrs
- 15 years plus
- Don’t know
- Is (dog’s name) spayed/neutered?
- YES, approximately how old was s/he? ________________________________
- DON’T KNOW
- Is (dog’s name) a purebred?
- If yes, what breed? ________________________________________________Interviewer: Please note if the dog appears to be a bully breed or bully breed mix to you Y / N
- Don’t know
- Where did you obtain (dog’s name)?
- Born in home
- Found as stray
- Pet store
- Other ____________________________________________________________
- About how much did it cost to get (dog’s name)?
- $0.01 to < $100
- $100 to < $200
- $200 to < $300
- $300 to < $400
- $400 plus
- Don’t know
- Think back. When did you get (dog’s name)? (probe for year and month, if possible)__________________________________________________________________________
- Why did you get/keep a dog at that time? Circle all that apply.
- Companionship for children
- Companionship for adult(s)
- Companionship for a dog already in the household
- Teach the children responsibility
- To show him/her off to friends
- For protection of my residence, me or family members
- To help a friend/acquaintance who couldn’t keep the dog
- To save his/her life
- S/he was cute and available or other spur of the moment reason
- S/he was a gift
- Other, please describe the reasons/circumstances _________________________________________________
- What characteristics did (dog’s name) have that led you to select or agree to keep him/her for your dog (as opposed to another dog)?_______________________________________________________________________
- Did you have any reservations or worries about getting him/her back then? Please describe.________________________________________________________________________
- Thinking back to those first few months after you first got (dog’s name), can you tell me what you liked best about him/her?________________________________________________________________________
- Has (dog’s name) been to the vet in the last year (or since you have owned him/her if you have owned for less than a year)? If yes, how many times and for what?___________________________________________________________________
- Has anything changed recently in your household (e.g., family moved, illness, or death in family) that contributed to the decision to bring (dog’s name) to the shelter now?
- YES, please describe_______________________________________________________________________
- NOFollow-up to the specific reason: i.e., if it is a housing problem, did the landlord suddenly change his mind about allowing the dog, if you are moving for a place that doesn’t take the dog, could you not find anywhere that would allow a dog or was it cost prohibitive to bring the dog, etc.
- Tell me about why you are bringing (dog’s name) here today (Other than what we discussed above)? Collect up to 5 reasons.________________________________________________
- Were there other options that you or the family explored that led to dead ends before making the decision to come here?
- YES, please describe _____________________________________________________________________
- Who was involved in making the decision to bring (dog’s name) to the shelter?
- Only I was
- My spouse and I
- The entire family (including children)
- My parents
- My parents in consultation with me
- Other, please describe ______________________________________________________________________
- How long have you (or the family) been thinking about bringing (dog’s name) to the shelter? _______________________________________________________________________
- We are trying to provide temporary housing, make available resources, help with behavior issues or other programs that would help people keep their dogs (if possible).
- Thinking back, do you think that there is anything (e.g., temporary housing, money to get more dog training or medical care) that could have helped you (your family) keep (dog’s name)?
- NOIf YES, what do you think might have helped?________________________________________________________________________
- If I was to be this dog’s new adopter, what would you tell me about him/her?__________________________________________________________________________
- In which range is the YEARLY INCOME of your household?
- Less than $12, 500
- More than $124,999
- We may want to follow up with a subset of folks we interviewed today to get more detailed information about your experience, would you be willing to share your contact information with us?If yes, info.: _________________________________________________________
- What is your cultural or ethnic identity?
- Native American/American Indian
- Other (please specify)_______________
- Thinking of the person in your household who has completed the most school, what is the highest grade level achieved by that person?
- Grade 8 or less
- Some high school
- Completed high school or GED
- Some college
- Bachelor’s Degree
- College work beyond a Bachelor’s Degree (Graduate or professional degree)
- Other, please describe ________________________________
- How many people of the following ages currently live in your household?
- ______ number of children less than 5 years old
- ______number of children 5 to 12 years old
- ______ number of children 13 to 19 years old
- ______ number of adults 20 to 64 years old
- ______ number of adults 65 years old or older
- What type of dwelling do you currently live in?
- Apartment on condominium
- Mobile home or trailer
- Single family house
- Duplex/attached house
- Other, please describe __________________________
© 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).