This study investigated how the current economic recession (since December 2007) has affected dog and cat relinquishment, adoption, and euthanasia at the Anti-Cruelty Society animal shelter in Chicago, Illinois. The study compared temporal patterns of the investigated statistics before (2000-2007) the start of the current recession with the patterns after the start of the recession (2008-2010). The results showed that once the guardianship (ownership) of a nonhuman animal had been established, the recession did not greatly affect the owner's decision on relinquishment-except for the relinquishment of senior dogs, which may be associated with increased costs of care. However, an unfavorable economic environment may have reduced adoption of animals. The consequences of a decline in adoptions might be reflected in an increase in the proportion or number of sheltered animals euthanized. This study demonstrated how monitoring changes in temporal patterns in these shelter statistics can help guide animal shelters to better prepare for the current recession.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology