Criteria Influencing Potential Canine Adopters' Decision During a Shelter or Adoption Event Visit



Minnis, Lawrence Edward

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Increasing focus within animal welfare research has been on pets, animal shelter adoptions, and relinquishment of animals to humane services. Most cross-sectional research has focused on perceptions of available animals, the likelihood of adoption, and unique reasoning for decisions to adopt or not adopt. The present study addressed gaps in literature by examining top reported criteria influencing potential adopters’ decision during a visit to a canine adoption site in the greater Metropolitan D.C. region. Over 500 shelter and adoption event site visitors within DC, Maryland, and Virginia were surveyed for information related to their search, adoption intent during visitation, and top adoption decision criteria. Results revealed notable homogeneity of decision factors across several different sample populations. Study findings also showed top factors under consideration that were unexpected, given current cross-sectional animal adoption literature on reasons for decisions to adopt or not adopt.



Canine adoption, Dog, Companion pet, Shelter, Decision making