4 years ago

Risk factors affecting length of stay of cats in an animal shelter: A case study at the Guelph Humane Society, 2011-2016

There is a strong need for animal shelters to determine strategies to decrease the incidence of healthy animals being euthanized due to a lack of space. Thus, the Capacity for Care program was implemented at the Guelph Humane Society during August 2014. One objective of the Capacity for Care program is to decrease length of stay of cats within the shelter to improve individual welfare and increase the number of successful adoptions. The current study uses collected data from the Guelph Humane Society between 2011 and 2016. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to determine factors affecting a cat’s time-to-adoption (length of stay). Cats’ length of stay decreased by 24% after the implementation of the Capacity for Care program (p<0.001). Exotic breeds were found to have a length of stay 64% shorter than domestic shorthairs (p<0.01), while males had a length of stay 20% shorter than females (p<0.001). Adult cats’ length of stay was 13% shorter than kittens (p0.01), which is expected as a result of calculating length of stay from date of admission rather than date available for adoption. This study provides evidence that the Capacity for Care program is associated with a reduced length of stay for cats; suggesting it is a suitable program to improve cat welfare and address cat overpopulation.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0167587717302647

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