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Factors that Influence Intake to One Municipal Animal Control Facility in Florida: A Qualitative Study

By Terry Spencer, Linda Behar-Horenstein, Joe Aufmuth, Nancy Hardt, Jennifer W Applebaum, Amber Emanuel, Natalie Isaza

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This qualitative study identified a study area by visualizing one year of animal intake from a municipal animal shelter on geographic information systems (GIS) maps to select an area of high stray-dog intake to investigate. Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with residents of the selected study area to elucidate why there were high numbers of stray dogs coming from this location. Using grounded theory, three themes emerged from the interviews: concerns, attitudes, and disparities. The residents expressed concerns about animal welfare, personal safety, money, and health. They held various attitudes toward domestic animals in the community, including viewing them as pets, pests, or useful commodities (products). Residents expressed acceptance as well as some anger and fear about the situation in their community. Interviewees revealed they faced multiple socioeconomic disparities related to poverty. Pet abandonment can result when pet owners must prioritize human needs over animal needs, leading to increased shelter intake of stray dogs. Community-specific strategies for reducing local animal shelter intake should address the issue of pet abandonment by simultaneously targeting veterinary needs of animals, socioeconomic needs of residents, and respecting attitude differences between residents and shelter professionals.


Spencer CW Au

Date 2017
Publication Title Animals
Volume 7
Issue 7
Pages 19
Publisher MDPI AG
Location of Publication Basel, Switzerland
DOI 10.3390/ani7070048
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abandonment
  2. Animal health and hygiene
  3. Animal housing
  4. Animal nutrition
  5. Animal roles
  6. Animal shelters
  7. Animal welfare
  8. Dogs
  9. GIS Mapping
  10. Mammals
  11. Pet ownership
  12. Pets and companion animals
  13. socioeconomics
  14. Theories