CZAAWE Resource Article

What Do People Want? Factors People Consider When Acquiring Dogs, the Complexity of the Choices They Make, and Implications for Nonhuman Animal Relocation Programs
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
A survey was conducted to assess decisions people make when acquiring dogs, including what sources they consider, the importance of the variety of dogs available, and their willingness to travel to adopt dogs of their choice. A conjoint design was used to ask each respondent to rate his or her likelihood of acquiring a dog based on a ?profile? that included attributes such as age, size, and color as well as where the dog came from and euthanasia risk. Overall, these results showed that people preferred variety and would drive distances to get dogs of their choice. The findings revealed that no single attribute drove choice, indicating that people have complex preferences and these vary widely across individuals. Nonhuman animal shelters may be able to increase their adoption rates by providing more variety and not just dogs typically thought of as ?in demand? but those who represent a range of diversity through the utilization of animal relocation programs.