Relinquishing a nonhuman animal to a shelter is a complex decision that, it is often believed, ultimately may represent a breakdown of the human-animal bond. The result of such a breakdown is an animal companion surplus in the United States, which is no better evidenced than by the statistics documenting the millions of animals euthanized at shelters every year. This research examined the companion animals who are relinquished by their owners to shelters for adoption and compared them specifically to those relinquished for euthanasia. The study also compared the owner characteristics of the animals in these two groups. Although the majority of dogs and cats relinquished are clearly adoptable, a sizable number of these pets presented to shelters for euthanasia have problems precluding their adoptability: old age, illness, and refractory behavior.
|Publication Title||Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Author Address||Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.|
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