Last week, Mississippi State University (MSU) and its College of Veterinary Medicine announced that it is conducting a first-of-its-kind survey of dog shelters in five states across the country. The survey, which is funded by the Stanton Foundation, will provide valuable information about dog populations in shelters in key geographic regions across the country. The goal of the survey, which will be one of the most comprehensive shelter surveys in U.S. history, is to gather detailed information on the number and physical characteristics of dogs entering shelters and what happens to them.
“The lack of reliable data makes it difficult to most effectively serve and help dogs in need. This survey will ultimately enable organizations that seek to promote canine welfare to help the greatest number of dogs,” said Dr. Kent H. Hoblet, Dean of MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “The information will be beneficial to shelter operators, policymakers and ultimately dog owners across the nation because it will provide vital insights into patterns and behaviors regarding dog ownership, adoption, transfers, outcomes and resource distribution.”
The team conducting the survey will be reaching out to more than 400 shelters in five states – Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado, and Oklahoma – that they have identified as eligible to participate. The five states were chosen because they each have a registry of shelters and provide a diverse geographical representation of the U.S. The college is offering an honorarium of $100 to each participating shelter.
MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine will build on previous work measuring and assessing dog shelters. For this current study, MSU’s team of researchers and students will visit shelters in person to gather data, which will help ensure the quality of data is strong. The individual data gathered will be kept confidential. Additionally, the researchers are interested in hearing feedback from stakeholders and others about this initiative.
“People in all regions of the country care very much about canine welfare, and we believe that this study will help dog owners, elected and appointed officials and shelter operators make informed decisions,” said Dean Hoblet. “We appreciate the shelters that are partnering with us to help us acquire this data and are looking forward to working with them.”
Located in Starkville, Mississippi, the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine is one of thirty veterinary colleges in the United States. Founded in 1974, they take pride in offering an outstanding education to the next generation of veterinarians and scientists, providing compassionate care to animals, and conducting world-class research in animal and public health. MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.