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No Dog Left Behind: A Hedonic Pricing Model for Animal Shelters

By Laura A. Reese, Mark Skidmore, William Dyar, Erika Rosebrook

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Companion animal overpopulation is a growing problem in the United States. In addition to strays, an average of 324,500 nonhuman animals are relinquished to shelters yearly by their caregivers due to family disruption (divorce, death), foreclosure, economic problems, or minor behavioral issues. As a result, estimates of animals in shelters range from 3 million to 8 million, and due to overcrowding, euthanasia is common. This analysis seeks to determine the appropriate pricing mechanisms to clear animal shelters of dogs in the manner most desirable—that is, through adoption. Based on a survey of Michigan residents, it is clear there are a number of correlations between the traits of dogs and the individuals who care for them. Hedonic pricing models indicate that animal shelters need to proactively vary their pricing systems to discount particular traits, specifically for mixed-breed, older, and black dogs. Premiums can be charged for puppies, purebred dogs, and those who have received specific services such as microchipping.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2016
Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 52-64
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2016.1236693
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Laura A. Reese; Mark Skidmore; William Dyar; Erika Rosebrook (2018), "No Dog Left Behind: A Hedonic Pricing Model for Animal Shelters,"

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  1. Animal roles
  2. Animal shelters
  3. Pets and companion animals
  4. prices