Matching Items (4)

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Instagram and Adoption Rates: The Impact of Proactive Social Media on Adoption Rates at the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA

Description

This thesis explores how we can harness new technology to improve our relationship with companion animals and promote shelter animal welfare. The study looked into using the photo-sharing application Instagram

This thesis explores how we can harness new technology to improve our relationship with companion animals and promote shelter animal welfare. The study looked into using the photo-sharing application Instagram to increase adoption rates at the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA. An Instagram page was created and managed for the shelter, and data was collected regarding the impact the page had on adoption rates. The results were mixed, but overall it was determined that the Instagram page has unique value for the shelter.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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What's in a name: effect of breed perceptions & labeling on attractiveness, adoptions & length of stay for pit-bull-type dogs

Description

Previous research has indicated that certain breeds of dogs stay longer in shelters than others; however exactly how breed perception and identification influences potential adopters' decisions remains unclear. Current dog

Previous research has indicated that certain breeds of dogs stay longer in shelters than others; however exactly how breed perception and identification influences potential adopters' decisions remains unclear. Current dog breed identification practices in animal shelters are often based upon information supplied by the relinquishing owner, or staff determination based on the dog's phenotype. However discrepancies have been found between breed identification as typically assessed by welfare agencies and the outcome of DNA analysis. In Study 1, the perceived behavioral and adoptability characteristics of a pit-bull-type dog were compared with those of a Labrador Retriever and Border Collie. How the addition of a human handler influenced those perceptions was also assessed. In Study 2, lengths of stay and perceived attractiveness of dogs that were labeled as pit bull breeds to dogs that were phenotypically similar but were labeled as another breed at an animal shelter were compared. The latter dogs were called "lookalikes." In Study 3, perceived attractiveness in video recordings of pit-bull-type dogs and lookalikes with and without breed labels were compared. Lastly, data from an animal shelter that ceased applying breed labeling on kennels was analyzed, and lengths of stay and outcomes for all dog breeds, including pit bulls, before and after the change in labeling practice were compared. In total, these findings suggest that breed labeling influences potential adopters' perceptions and decision-making. Given the inherent complexity of breed assignment based on morphology coupled with negative breed perceptions, removing breed labels is a relatively low-cost strategy that will likely improve outcomes for dogs in animal shelters.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Understanding the Impacts of Breed Identity, Post-Adoption and Fostering Interventions, & Behavioral Welfare of Shelter Dogs

Description

Each year, nearly three million dogs will enter one of over 13,000 animal shelters in the United States. The purpose of this dissertation is to better understand how breed identity

Each year, nearly three million dogs will enter one of over 13,000 animal shelters in the United States. The purpose of this dissertation is to better understand how breed identity and dog welfare in the shelter, in addition to post-adoption and fostering interventions out of the shelter, can contribute to the betterment of dog lives. In Chapter 2, I conducted the largest sampling of shelter dogs’ breed identities to-date to determine their breed heritage and compare shelter breed assignment by staff as determined by visual appearance to that of genetic testing. In Chapter 4, I examined the efficacy of a post-adoption intervention intended to reduce returns by encouraging physical activity between adopters and their dogs. In Chapter 6, I examined the effects of brief stays in a foster home on the urinary cortisol: creatinine ratios of dogs awaiting adoption compared to ratios collected before or after their stays; and in Chapter 7, I characterized the relationships between multiple physiological, health, and cognitive measures and the in-kennel behavior of shelter dogs.

Four suggestions from the findings of this dissertation that will likely better the lives of dogs living in animal shelters are: 1) Shelter dog breed heritage is complex and visually identifying multiple breeds in a mixed breed dog is difficult at best. Shelters should instead focus on communicating the morphology and behavior of the dogs in their care to best support adopters. 2) While encouraging walking did not influence owner behavior, adopters who reported higher obligation and self-efficacy in dog walking were more active with their dogs. Thus, post-adoption interventions that can effectively target owner perceptions of obligation and self-efficacy may be more successful in changing behavior. 3) Temporary fostering is an impactful intervention that reduces stress for dogs awaiting adoption; however addressing stressors present at shelters that are likely contributing to higher stress responding is also needed. 4) It is possible to predict the internal stress responding of shelter dogs by observing their overt, in-kennel behavior, and this study is a first step in assessing and improving the welfare of dogs living in animal shelters.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018