The long stay of dogs in the shelters is often a welfare problem for the animals, a cost to society and an ethical problem. It is therefore important to prevent the abandonment and increase the success rate of adoptions. The aim of this study was to identify, through the application of a protocol for behavioural assessment, an adoption indicator easily definable for dogs coming into the shelters, that allows to estimate the ease with which the animal will be adopted. 593 sheltered dogs (age 2 months to 18 years) were involved in this study over a period of three years starting from March 2010. The data were divided into three groups, A, B and C. The physical (breed, age, sex, size and physical pathologies) and behavioural data of each dog were assessed by a trained examiner using an appropriate test. In the Group A the results of the characteristics presenting a significant difference distribution between adopted or not adopted dogs, were utilized to calculate a synthetic number that we named ''IDA'' (r/s). A standardized post adoption telephonic follow-up (3 months after the adoption) was performed for investigate whether the adoptions were satisfactory for owners. Subsequently, in order to verify if the hypothesis we created was reliable, the adoption indicator (IDAr and IDAs) has been applied to C and B. The data were analysed by chi square tables (SPSS 12,0, 2003). The dogs scoring more then the mean value (rounded) of the adopted dogs of the Group A were defined as easy adoptable (H, high probability to be adopted), the dogs scoring less then the mean value of the not adopted dogs were set out as hardly adoptable (L), and the other as of medium adoptability (M). In the Group A the proportion between adopted and not adopted dogs (within 3 months after recovery) were significant for IDAr between H and M or L (P minus 0,01) and between M and L (P minus 0,05); The IDAs significant differences were between H and L (P minus 0,01) and M and L (P minus 0,05). A first way to validate the reliability of the adoption indicator was to explore the rate of adoption in the animals of Group A during the period of one year after recovery There are a strong link between IDA score and adoption rate in the period (P minus 0,01), more clear for IDAs, with more significant differences between High and Low scored dogs (P minus 0,01) than between Hig and Medium (P minus 0,05 for IDAr; P minus 0,01 for IDAs). The satisfaction rate of owners was 98 %. In the Group C the percentage of adopted dogs with H IDAr or IDAs were significantly different from those of M and L IDAr/IDAs dogs (P minus 0,01) but not between M and L. Therefore as for the Group A the results show that an H IDA corresponds to a high percentage of adoption. Therefore in the Group C the value of the adoption indicator (IDAr/s), calculated according to the same procedure designed for the Group A, did not different significantly from that of Group A (P minus 0,05). The application of the IDA scores to the dogs of group C was analyzed also during the year after recovery and as for the Group A the results confirm that the correlation between IDA and adoption rate is maintained in the long term. In the Group C the satisfaction rate of owner was 98,75%. The results of the correlation analysis between the periods elapsed by dogs in the kennel show that the IDA scores correlate negatively with the period of time from recovery in the kennel to adoption or, for the not adopted dogs, till one year after recovery. In order to verify the reliability of the data was evaluated the mean of the time elapsed in the kennel for dogs with H, M or L IDAr and H, M and L IDAs in the three groups. Dogs with a H IDA tend to stay in shelter less time than those with a lower IDA. The IDA as calculated by us seems to meet the indications for a good test : Feasibility, Reliability and Validity.
|Titolo:||Physical and behavioural data as adoption indicators of shelter dogs|
|Data di pubblicazione:||29-mag-2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato (Pregresso)|