Shelter Dogs Faring Better Than Cats, Survey Says
COLUMBUS, OH - 10/5/06 - According to a survey of animal shelters across Ohio, the outlook for sheltered dogs has improved considerably in the last decade. But conditions have deteriorated for cats.
COLUMBUS, OH - 10/5/06 - According to a survey of animal shelters across Ohio,the outlook for sheltered dogs has improved considerably in the last decade.But conditions have deteriorated for cats.
Animal shelters reported that, since 1996, the number of dogs they received decreasedby about 16 percent, while the number of cats taken in increased by nearly 20percent. And while the number of dogs euthanized decreased by 39 percent, thenumber of cats that were put to sleep increased by nearly 14 percent.
“We saw a dramatic drop in the number of dogs euthanized, which we didn'texpect to see,” says Linda Lord, the study's lead author and a researchfellow in veterinary preventive medicine at TheOhio State University. “Butthe survey showed that we are losing ground with cats.”
Lord and her colleagues collected data from 165 animal care and control agenciesin Ohio in 2004. They compared the answers to those of a similar study of sheltersthey did in 1996.
The study revealed that since 1996:
- The number of shelters that vaccinate and spay or neuter their animals has risen from a little more than half (56 percent) to nearly three out of four (71 percent);
- The number of animal care and control agencies that have an established partnership with a veterinarian or a veterinary practice has doubled (40 percent in 1996 to 80 percent in 2004);
- More than two out of three agencies (68 percent) include the cost of spaying or neutering in the adoption fees that they charge. Less than half (46 percent) of the agencies did so in 1996. (In Ohio, adoption fees for a dog or puppy range from $5 to $150, and the price to take home a cat or kitten ranges from nothing to $80); and
- The cost of running an animal shelter has increased considerably since 1996. Estimated total expenses for all animal care and control agencies in Ohio during 2004 were $57.7 million, up from an estimated $34.2 million in 1996.
It's likely that the general findings of this study apply to other states, Lordsays.
“What's going on in Ohio is probably pretty reflective of many parts ofthe country.”