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COVID-19 Guidance: Guidance and operational updates for Cummings School and its veterinary teaching hospitals

Care and Management of Companion Animal Populations

The Center for Animals and Public Policy's view of companion animals and paradigms for caring for and managing them have been constantly evolving. However, some problems with dogs, cats, other small animals and horses persist both within the United States and internationally. The responsibility for managing these problems tends to fall on animal shelters, humane societies, rescue groups, and animal control officers. The Center believes it can best serve those groups by collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data that can inform effective policy and improve practices. The Center is committed to addressing the challenges of pet overpopulation whether in our own backyard or across the globe.

Areas that are of specific concern to the Center include:

  • Analysis of programs to reduce overbreeding of dogs , cats, and rabbits , including evaluation of local spay/neuter programs and promotion of best practices for those programs
  • Addressing the root causes of pet overpopulation, including public attitudes toward companion animals as well as the processes of adoption and relinquishment of companion animals at shelters
  • Effective and humane management strategies for management of free-roaming cat and dog populations
  • Efforts to improve the welfare of confined populations of companion animals species through animal behavior science, including stress reduction and enrichment

A list of student projects in this research area can be found on the Care and Management of Companion Animal Populations Student Projects page.