Attitudes Toward Responsible Companion Animal Ownership
At the time of the study, 18% owned a cat and a dog, 35% owned only a dog, 11% only a cat, and 36% were non-owners. The sex of the respondent and also the category of companion animal ownership affected opinions on overpopulation of dogs and cats, nuisance and pollution problems associated with these animals, and methods of controlling companion animal populations in the community.
97% of companion animal owners and 94% of non-owners agreed that irresponsible companion animal ownership is a problem in society; female owners agreed the most strongly. Most also believed that overpopulation is a problem as well.
With respect to potential community health problems related to free-roaming dogs and cats, some respondents had knowledge of the problem, but it was mostly superficial for specific medical problems.
Non-owners were more likely to believe that free-roaming and stray cats are more likely to create nuisance and pollution problems, rather than dogs.
The greatest distribution of responses in this study were detected among issues of controlling companion animal/stray populations. Owners agreed most strongly on family planning for companion animals, but male owners of dogs felt they would not want to have their companion animals neutered. Non-owners most frequently agreed that owners should be fined for letting their companion animals run free.
76% of owners disagreed to some extent that they would not want to own a dog because it might annoy neighbors, while only 53% of non-owners had the same opinion.