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A novel approach to identify and map kitten clusters using geographic information systems (GIS): a case study from Tompkins County, NY

By A. S. Reading, J. M. Scarlett, E. A. Berliner

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Abstract

A retrospective study using a geographic information system (GIS) was conducted to capture, map, and analyze intake data of caregiver (owner)-surrendered kittens (aged 0-6 months) to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Tompkins County, NY, from 2009 to 2011. Addresses of caregiver-surrendered kittens during the study period were mapped ( n=1,017). Mapping and analysis of the resultant data set revealed that the distribution of kittens was nonrandom. Seventeen statistically significant ( p=.001) clusters were identified, 1 of which was the SPCA of Tompkins County (due to anonymously surrendered nonhuman animals). The remaining 16 clusters were composed of 52 homes; 27.5% (280/1,017) of the kittens in the data set originated from these 52 homes. The majority of kittens within clusters were surrendered from high-density residential and manufactured residential home parks. Analyzing such clusters using GIS is a novel approach for targeting spay/neuter and educational programs to areas contributing disproportionately to shelter populations. This method may prove useful to help shelters more effectively allocate their limited resources, but further evaluation of this and other targeted approaches is needed to assess the long-term efficacy of such programs.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 17
Issue 4
Pages 295-307
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2014.905783
Language English
Author Address Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program, Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.eab35@cornell.edu
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Tags
  1. Analysis
  2. Animals
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Carnivores
  5. Case Report
  6. Cats
  7. Distribution
  8. Documentation
  9. Education
  10. Evaluation
  11. Geographic information systems
  12. Homes
  13. Information systems
  14. Institutions
  15. Mammals
  16. parks
  17. pathogens
  18. peer-reviewed
  19. Pets and companion animals
  20. prevention
  21. programs
  22. shelters
  23. Techniques
  24. training
  25. vertebrates
  26. young animals
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed