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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

How We Select Shelter Pets: The Research Is In!

This pooch looks a bit like me!

Why is it important for organizations like the ASPCA to conduct research, like the study described in this article, about how people make the decision to choose certain shelter pets over others? Well, the more we know about the criteria people use to choose pets from a shelter, the more shelter workers can prepare the animals in advance, so that they're the chosen ones. With five to seven million pets entering U.S. shelters each year, and three to four million of these homeless animals euthanized because they weren't adopted, it's imperative that shelter workers be proactive in making the dog or cat as "adoptable" as possible, based on humans' selection criteria. In other words, by "prepping" the animals before they're officially ready for adoption with grooming and training/socialization, shelters might be able to "increase adoption and decrease returns." The proactive prepping should also include getting to know each animal and individually counseling prospective adopters about each pet's wonderful personality traits, for example, that might transcend their looks or demeanor on any particular day.

According to the ASPCA study discussed in this article, "physical appearance and behavior are the biggest factors when it comes to pet adoptions." For example, this study confirms previous findings that "cats and dogs that approach the front of the cage when a person nears have a much greater chance of being adopted."

Now, when the shelter worker opened the cage that I was in (that happened to be the higher, top cage), I jumped right into the shelter worker's arms and immediately started trying to lick Parental Unit, who was standing beside the worker. And it's true that Parental Unit loved the way I looked: all scruffy with a full terrier beard, and when I looked at her with my big brown eyes, she practically swooned! And dare I say, I chose her at that moment...

So if you have an adopted pet, what was the deciding factor for you in choosing that dog or cat from all of the others available? Let us know!


Two French Bulldogs said...

mom could think of a few humans they could do research on
Benny & Lily

Pet crematory tulsa oklahoma said...

Terrific post, Thanks. You have posted such an effect full article that it will certainly help me!

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