Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Biology


Corey L. Cleland


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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