Library Dissertation Showcase

Predictive factors for the euthanasia of dogs admitted to UK rehoming centers

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

UK rescue dogs may be euthanized due to medical or behavioral problems; previous studies have identified risk factors for some medical and behavioral diagnoses. If predictive factors for euthanasia can be identified it may be possible for shelters to reduce euthanasia rates. The computerized records of 200 successfully rehomed and 106 euthanized dogs, admitted by Jerry Green dog rescue centers between 1st January 2017 and 15th June 2019, were used for data collection. The majority of euthanasia (64.2%) was due to a behavioral problem. A binary logistic regression model identified age, size, and certain results of behavioral assessments at intake as significant predictors of euthanasia as opposed to successful rehoming. Results indicate that Jerry Green centers should consider older and medium-sized dogs at intake as having a greater risk of euthanasia. The results suggest that the presence of behavioral problems at the time of intake makes euthanasia more likely, although confounding factors cannot be rule out. Further research on a country-wide, cross-shelter basis is necessary to identify predictive factors in the general population.

Keywords: Euthanasia; dogs; rehoming; shelter; kennels

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