Messaging Spay/Neuter: Lessons From The Gulf Coast Spay/Neuter Campaign
This study, with results presented as a slide show, used multiple surveys, interview techniques, and shelter inquiries to address the issue of spay/neuter in Louisiana and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. The study first determined the state of spay and neuter in the area, sought out the reasons why people do not spay/neuter, and evaluated potential communications campaign to reach people. The latter half of this presentation details campaign materials and messages and the results of focus groups to evaluate advertisements.
Select Study Findings About Effective Outreach Techniques:
- When presented with various reasons for spay/neuter, the most frequently chosen reasons were preventing animals from being put to sleep (25%) and preventing overpopulation.
- Making animals easier to live with was chosen as the most effective message only 5% of the time. However, this message was well-received by people who live with cats only and may be selectively used with success for this group.
- Highlighting cost as the lead message was not effective.
- Using local figures and data about euthanasia rates is effective. As the study explains, “People view the exposure to the state specific numbers as education and new information, versus a lecture or critique of the region.”
- Celebrity spokespeople were not considered “credible” spokespeople. Respondents were most interested in veterinarians, the directors of local humane societies and shelters, and animal control officers.