Free Pet Adoptions Study Results

November 2012

Audience: Executive Leadership, Foster Caregivers, Public, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

Do free adoptions increase the risk of poor care and abandonment? Results from a recent study conducted by researchers at Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida say no. A survey of all 1,928 pet adopters from the fee-waived 2011 Maddie's® Matchmaker Adoptathon compared caregiver characteristics and pet lifestyles between adopters who still had their pets 6 - 12 months after the event, and those who did not. A total of 57% (1,099) of adopters completed the survey, and a vast majority of those reported that the adopted pets were still in the home (93% of the dogs and 95% of the cats). Most pets lived predominantly indoors, slept in the family bed, and had been to a veterinarian - and a resounding 94% of all respondents declared a strong or very strong attachment to the pet, whether the pet was retained or not. The researchers concluded that successful adoptions do not require payment of a fee, and free adoption promotions may increase adoptions without compromising the quality of the animal's life. 

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