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Animals 2017, 7(8), 59;

Stated Preferences for Dog Characteristics and Sources of Acquisition

Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 22 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 5 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
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People’s preferences for where they acquire dogs and the characteristics they focus on may provide insight into their perceptions of socially responsible pet ownership, as acquiring a dog is the first step in dog ownership. An online survey of 1523 U.S. residents was used to aid understanding of public perceptions of dog acquisition. Likert-scale questions allowed respondents to assign a level of agreement, within the given scale, to ten statements related to dog acquisition. A significantly higher percentage of women (39.6%) than men (31.7%) agreed that the only responsible way to acquire a dog is through a shelter/rescue. More women (71.3%) than men (66.4%), as well as those with a higher household income (71%), identified source as important. Best-worst methodology was used to elicit perceptions regarding the most/least ethical ways to acquire a dog. Three subgroups were identified, one of which had an overwhelmingly large preference share (96%) for adoption. The second group had more evenly distributed preference shares amongst the various dog acquisition methods, while the third indicated a preference for “homeless” pets. Additional investigation of the values/beliefs underlying the preferences of these groups is necessary to design appropriately tailored companion animal-focused communication strategies for these different groups. View Full-Text
Keywords: dog acquisition; public perception; best-worst, preferences dog acquisition; public perception; best-worst, preferences

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Bir, C.; Widmar, N.J.O.; Croney, C.C. Stated Preferences for Dog Characteristics and Sources of Acquisition. Animals 2017, 7, 59.

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