|Barked: Sun Jan 6, '13 1:41pm PST |
|I came across this summary of an article on facebook. You have to pay to read the full article...
A new study in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science looked at length of stay (LOS) for dogs at two shelters. I am still reading it but some of the findings are fascinating: 1. color (including black) did not impact LOS, 2. age impacted LOS by an average of one day per year of age but it was not clean as older dogs got adopted very quickly in many cases, 3. "pit bulls" did not have the longest LOS (the beagle group did), 4. sex did not matter (though already neutered animals were adopted quicker), 5. size matters (in the other direction) but was not clean: very big dogs were adopted pretty quickly in some cases.
Some possible lessons: Shelters and rescues often fall prey to self-fulfilling prophecy and assume the dogs with the "pit bull" label or who are black cannot be saved. Also, marketing is everything. When I was the director in Tompkins County, we found ourselves with a kennel wing full of beagles. All were adopted in a day or two after we ran a promotion comparing beagles to bagels and asking the question, "When was the last time a bagel greeted you like you were the president of the United States?", offering a free dozen bagels for every beagle adoption, and running the story on the local news, on the radio, in the newspaper, and online. In other words, what the shelter does is what is important, not blaming external factors (by claiming no one wants "beagles" or "pit bulls" or "black dog" or "old dogs").
Article: Effects of Phenotypic Characteristics on the Length of Stay at Two No Kill Animal Shelters (Brown, William P., et. al, Division of Natural Sciences, Keuka College, 2013.)
Thoughts? My direct experience in fostering for a rescue doesn't match with what this article is reporting. I foster in the Chicago 'burbs. Beagles are actually pretty easy to adopt out, especially if they look purebred. But- small, young, uniquely colored, "hypoallergenic" dogs can be adopted in a matter of days, while my nondescript, possibly pit-bull, plain, brown dog can sit for months... local animal control reports pit bulls sit and sit and sit on the adoption floors, so they actually have an unofficial quota of how many they will allow on the adoption floor.
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