Litster A, Allen J, Mohamed A et al: Risk factors for delays between intake and veterinary approval for adoption on medical grounds in shelter puppies and kittens, Preventive Veterinary Medicine 101:107, 2011.
In shelter and rescue situations, it is very important to identify highly adoptable animals whose adoptions are unlikely to be delayed for medical reasons. The objective of this study was to identify risk factors for delays on medical grounds from intake to approval for adoption in shelter puppies and kittens. Records from over 300 puppies and 300 kittens in a large metropolitan shelter were examined. Not surprisingly, kittens exhibiting respiratory or gastrointestinal problems upon intake were more likely to have delayed adoption. Older kittens were less likely than young kittens to experience this delay. Stray kittens, as opposed to owner-relinquished kittens, or kittens transferred from another shelter, were more likely to experience delays for adoption. Prompt antimicrobial therapy for infectious diseases was associated with a significant decrease in the delay for adoption. Additional studies at other shelters will be useful, but this study indicates that rapid treatment of kittens and puppies with mild infections is very important to decrease their time in a shelter. [MK]