Introduction In Italy, each year approximately 150 thousand dogs are taken into shelters. Only a small fraction is adopted, especially in the region of Sicily (south Italy), where a large population of stray dogs exists. The goals of the study were 1) to evaluate characteristics of adopted dogs in a public shelter in Sicily; and, 2) to compare data of population and adoptation rate with those of a shelter in the Northern Italy Materials and Methods A retrospective analysis of adopters’ preference was conducted by by comparing parameters such as age of the dog, gender, coat color, and size to the total canine population in a shelter in Palermo between 2014-2016. Similar data were collected from a shelter in northern Italy, and compared by Poisson regression. Results The most important characteristics affecting the adopters' choices were age and size; young dogs were preferred over older dogs (adoptions/totals ratio 0.98) and small size dogs were preferred over larger dogs (adoptions/totals ratio 0.87). Data analysis showed that in the shelter in Palermo, the canine population significantly increased during the three years of evaluation (P<0.05) and adoption rates were significantly lower than in Trento's Province shelter (P<0.05). Conclusion This preliminary study offers a quantitative analysis of adopters' preferences that could be useful to assess some adoptability index for dogs. Moreover, the study highlights the critical situation of over-population in Sicily's public dog shelters. It is paramount to find methods as development and validation of behavioural assessment protocols to increase successful adoption rates.

Adoption preference factors for dogs in a public shelter in the Province of Palermo (Southern Italy) and comparison with adoption rates of a shelter in Northern Italy

ALBERGHINA, Daniela;PANZERA, Michele;PASSANTINO, Annamaria
2017-01-01

Abstract

Introduction In Italy, each year approximately 150 thousand dogs are taken into shelters. Only a small fraction is adopted, especially in the region of Sicily (south Italy), where a large population of stray dogs exists. The goals of the study were 1) to evaluate characteristics of adopted dogs in a public shelter in Sicily; and, 2) to compare data of population and adoptation rate with those of a shelter in the Northern Italy Materials and Methods A retrospective analysis of adopters’ preference was conducted by by comparing parameters such as age of the dog, gender, coat color, and size to the total canine population in a shelter in Palermo between 2014-2016. Similar data were collected from a shelter in northern Italy, and compared by Poisson regression. Results The most important characteristics affecting the adopters' choices were age and size; young dogs were preferred over older dogs (adoptions/totals ratio 0.98) and small size dogs were preferred over larger dogs (adoptions/totals ratio 0.87). Data analysis showed that in the shelter in Palermo, the canine population significantly increased during the three years of evaluation (P<0.05) and adoption rates were significantly lower than in Trento's Province shelter (P<0.05). Conclusion This preliminary study offers a quantitative analysis of adopters' preferences that could be useful to assess some adoptability index for dogs. Moreover, the study highlights the critical situation of over-population in Sicily's public dog shelters. It is paramount to find methods as development and validation of behavioural assessment protocols to increase successful adoption rates.
978-1-78639-458-3
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3112306
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