Reasons for Relinquishment of Companion Animals in U.S. Animal Shelters: Selected Health and Personal Issues, Janet M. Scarlett
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Abstract

In personal interviews, people surrendering their dogs and cats to 12 animal shelters in 4 regions of the country discussed their reasons for relinquishing their companion animals and answered questions about their own characteristics and those of their pet. The interviews identified 71 reasons for relinquishment. Personal issues lead the class of reasons for the relinquishment of cats and ranked 3rd among those given for relinquishment of dogs. The top 3 health and personal; issues cited for giving up cats were allergies of a family member to cats, owner's personal problems, and a new baby. For dogs the top 3 reasons cited were lack of time for the dog, owner's personal problems, and allergies. Analysis of these health and personal issues suggests that the education and counseling before and after acquisition of a pet, as well as the availability of temporary accommodations for pets during times of crisis, may reduce relinquishment.

Reasons for Relinquishment of Companion Animals in U.S. Animal Shelters: Selected Health and Personal Issues. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 2(1), 41-57.  January 1999, Janet M. Scarlett.

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  Requests for reprints should be sent to Janet M. Scarlett, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
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JOURNAL OF APPLIED ANIMAL WELFARE SCIENCE.

This journal publishes reports and articles on methods of experimentation, husbandry, and care that demonstrably enhance the welfare of nonhuman animals on farms, in laboratories, in wildlife/zoo settings, and as companions. JAAWS is a conjoint project of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PSYETA).

 

                     

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