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J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2013;16(1):2-18. doi: 10.1080/10888705.2013.740967.

Effects of phenotypic characteristics on the length of stay of dogs at two no kill animal shelters.

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1
Division of Natural Sciences, Keuka College, Keuka Park, NY 14478, USA. wbrown@keuka.edu

Abstract

Adoption records from 2 no kill shelters in New York State were examined to determine how age, sex, size, breed group, and coat color influenced the length of stay (LOS) of dogs at these shelters. Young puppies had the shortest length of stay; LOS among dogs increased linearly as age increased. Neither coat color nor sex influenced LOS. Considering only size classifications, medium-size dogs had the greatest LOS, and extra small dogs and puppies remained in shelters for the least amount of time. Considering only breed groupings, dogs in the guard group had the greatest LOS and those in the giant group had the shortest LOS. The lack of effect of coat color was not expected, nor was the shorter LOS among "fighting" breeds compared with other breed groups. Coat color and breed may have only local effects on LOS that do not generalize to all shelters, including traditional shelters. Understanding the traits of dogs in a specific shelter and the characteristics of these nonhuman animals desired by adopters are critical to improving the welfare of animals served by that shelter.

PMID:
23282290
DOI:
10.1080/10888705.2013.740967
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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