Companion Animal Adoption Study
To better understand the outcomes of companion animal adoptions, Bardsley & Neidhart Inc. conducted a series of 3 surveys over a 1-year period with dog and cat owners who had adopted their companion animal through either a (a) Luv-A-Pet location, (b) Adopt-a-thon, or (c) traditional shelter. This article suggests opportunities to improve owners’ perceptions of their companion animals and the adoption process through (a) providing more information before adoption about companion animal health and behaviors, (b) providing counseling to potential adopters to place companion animals appropriately, and (c) educating adopters to promote companion animal health and retention. Results demonstrate that the companion animal’s relationship to the family unit, such as where the companion animal sleeps and how much time is spent with the companion animal, is related to the amount of veterinary care the companion animal receives, and to long-term retention. [Excerpted from article]
The majority of adopters surveyed (90%) were very satisfied with their companion animals, while 2% were dissatisfied. An estimated 80% were satisfied with the adoption process in general, and most would adopt another animal from the same place. Almost all (98%) would recommend their place of adoption to family and friends.
The most positive aspects of the adoption process included the helpfulness of the staff during and after the process and their level of knowledge.
One year subsequent to the adoption, 4 out of 5 adopters still had their companion animals. Retention of a companion animal appeared to be unrelated to the place of adoption. The lowest retention level was for animals adopted for a child or grandchild. Of those who did not have their companion animals one year later, one fourth cited death of the companion animal and one-fourth cited incompatibility with people or other animals. Other reasons for relinquishement were related to training, socialization, and time spent with the animal.