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Community Demographics & Shelter Adoptions

This study explored the joint effect of distance and neighborhood-level demographics on pet adoptions from an animal shelter. The methods used to perform the study were client segmentation, geospatial tools, and epidemiological techniques that evaluated locations of 1,563 adoptions from an animal shelter in eastern Massachusetts. Proximity to the shelter was found to be strongly associated with adoption. Locations that were less than 6 miles (9.7 km) from the shelter having higher block group median income, or having a greater proportion of households that were composed of married couples with children in the block group, were associated with increased odds of being an adoption location. Neighborhood lifestyle characteristics were also noted to profoundly influence shelter adoption patterns. This study explored pet adoptions as one aspect of shelter operations. There are other potential applications of this type of technology and analysis for shelter outreach in identifying underserved areas for mobile spay-neuter programs, improvement of allocation of animal control resources, better targeting of media messages about the shelter, along with other possibilities.  [VT]

Related articles:
Patronek GJ: Mapping and measuring disparities in welfare for cats across neighborhoods in a large US city, J Am Vet Med Assoc 71: 161, 2010.