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Critical problems for research in animal sheltering, a conceptual analysis

By K. Horecka, S. Neal

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Animal shelter research has seen significant increases in participation over the past several decades from academic organizations, private organizations, public entities, and even corporations that aims to improve shelter programs, processes, operations, and outcomes for the various stakeholders/participants involved in a shelter system (animals, humans, the community, wildlife, and the environment). These efforts are scattered through a huge variety of different research areas that are challenging to define and scope for organizations seeking to start new lines of research inquiry. This work aims to enumerate some of the most critical outstanding problems for research in animal sheltering in a conceptual framework that is intended to help direct research conversations toward the research topics of highest impact (with the highest quality outcomes possible). To this end, we define seven (7) key areas for research: animal behavior, adoptions and special needs populations, medical conditions, disease transmission, community, ecology, and wellness (one health), operations, and public-private-academic-corporate collaboration. Within each of these areas, we review specific problems and highlight examples of successes in each area in the past several decades. We close with a discussion of some of the topics that were not detailed in this manuscript but, nonetheless, deserve some mention. Through this enumeration, we hope to spur conversation around innovative methodologies, technologies, and concepts in both research and practice in animal sheltering.

Date 2022
Publication Title Frontiers in Veterinary Science
Volume 8
Issue April
DOI 10.3389/fvets.2022.804154
Author Address Research Department, Austin Pets Alive!, Austin, Texas, USA.kevin.horecka@gmail.com
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Agencies and organizations
  2. Agriculture
  3. Animal behavior
  4. Animal diseases
  5. Animal ecology
  6. Animals
  7. Animal welfare
  8. Anthrozoology
  9. Behavioral research
  10. Canidae
  11. Canine
  12. Carnivores
  13. Cats
  14. Diseases
  15. Dogs
  16. Ecology
  17. Etiology
  18. Government
  19. Health
  20. Hosts
  21. Humans
  22. Infectious diseases
  23. Laws and regulations
  24. Mammals
  25. Methodologies
  26. open access
  27. Parasites
  28. Parasitology
  29. pathogens
  30. Pests.
  31. Pets and companion animals
  32. Psychiatry and psychology
  33. public
  34. regulations
  35. Research
  36. reservoir hosts
  37. Science
  38. shelters
  39. Social psychology and social anthropology
  40. vectors
  41. vertebrates
  42. Veterinarians
  43. welfare
  44. Zoology
  45. Zoonoses
  1. open access