Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Biology

Advisor(s)

Corey Lee Cleland

Abstract

About 7.6 million animals enter shelters each year (Pet Statistics. (n.d.)). Many factors have been examined to determine what affects adoption rates for these companion animals. A study of a kill-shelter has found that age, gender, and circumstance all influenced cat adoption rates (Lepper et. al., 2002). Training was also found to increase the adoption rates of dogs (Luescher and Medlock, 2009). Data on cat adoptions were collected from Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA (a no-kill shelter) and were analyzed using Sigma Plot and STATA. Training cats took place at Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA and the data was also analyzed using Sigma Plot. Color, age, and source were all found to influence adoption rates. None of the animals which were trained failed training, however the five which were fully trained were adopted or transferred before data could be collected. Cats which were included in the training group showed significantly fewer returns when compared to the control. The differences between adoption factors could be explained through population differences in the areas serviced by the shelters as well as by differences between the shelters themselves (kill vs no-kill).

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