Effect of Visitor Perspective on Adoption Decisions at One Animal Shelter

This study investigated the visitor experience at one urban animal shelter. While several previous studies have examined the reasons particular nonhuman animals are chosen by adopters, few have investigated the possible reasons one would visit a shelter and leave without adopting. Over a two-month period, 158 visitors were surveyed after they were finished touring the […]

The effect of housing and handling practices on the welfare, behaviour and selection of domestic cats (Felis sylvestris catus) by adopters in an animal shelter

As adult cats can often be difficult to re-home, they may spend long periods in rescue shelters where barren housing and inconsistent handling can reduce their welfare. In this study, 165 adult cats in an animal shelter in Vancouver, Canada, were assigned to four treatments. The Basic Single treatment reflected typical conditions in that particular […]

The effect of hiding enrichment on stress levels and behaviour of domestic cats (Felis sylvestris catus) in a shelter setting and the implications for adoption potential

This study investigates the effect of hiding enrichment on stress and behaviour of kennelled cats. Forty-three cats were studied either with a BC SPCA Hide & Perch™ box as enrichment, or with an open bed as control. Observations consisted of Stress Score, approach test and scan sample, recorded daily over the five days following a […]

A Case of Adoption and Allonursing in Captive Plains Zebra (Equus burchellii)

Although allonursing (allowing non-filial offspring to suckle) can be a costly behaviour, it has been reported for many mammals including ungulate species. However, such behaviour is very rare in equids. This is the first report on adoption and allonursing in captive plains zebra (Equus burchellii), recorded in the Dvu˚ r Králové Zoo, Czech Republic.We observed […]

The effects of social training and other factors on adoption success of shelter dogs

The aim of the present study was to increase adoption rates of dogs housed in shelters. Previous research suggests that the public perceives friendly and sociable dogs as more adoptable. The present study hypothesized that dogs trained to gaze into potential adopters’ eyes would be perceived as more attractive and would therefore have a greater […]

Shelter Animal Management and Trends in Taiwan

Trends in the number of dogs entering and departing Taiwan public shelters are analyzed in this article. There were 40 public shelters surveyed from 2000 to 2005 for dog entries and departures. The results indicate that (a) adoption rates and relinquished animal numbers increased, and euthanasia rates decreased at the beginning of the study, but […]


In a sequence of studies, we evaluated 2 behavioral interventions designed to decrease undesirable in-kennel behaviors of shelter dogs. In Experiment 1, we compared the efficacy of a simple pairing of person with food (response-independent treat delivery) to an increasing interval differential-reinforcement-of-other-behavior (DRO) procedure and a control condition. Both procedures decreased the median percentage of […]

Declawing has no effect on biting behavior but does affect adoption outcomes for domestic cats in an animal shelter

Opponents of declawing contend that it causes behavioral problems, whereas others, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, state that because destructive scratching is a risk factor for relinquishment and euthanasia, declawing is a reasonable alternative. If declawing causes behavior problems, the declawing of cats would put them at higher risk of surrender and euthanasia. If […]

Adoption and relinquishment interventions at the animal shelter: a review

Each year, nearly 4 million dogs will enter one of over 13,000 animal shelters operating in the United States. We review programmes implemented at shelters aimed at increasing the likelihood of adoption. The morphology of shelter dogs plays a large role in in-kennel adopter selection, but their behaviour is also influential in out-of-kennel adopter interactions. […]

Pet dog management practices among a representative sample of owners in Victoria, Australia

It is often assumed that pet dogs experience better welfare than livestock production animals because many owners consider them to be members of the family and, collectively, spend billions of dollars on them annually. However, this assumption is not based on scientific evidence, and a scientifically validated tool for assessing the welfare of companion dogs […]