Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lost Dogs Found More Often Than Lost Cats, Study Suggests

Date:
January 15, 2007
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
A lost dog is more likely to be reunited with its owner than a lost cat, according to two new studies. In one city in southwestern Ohio, researchers found that 71 percent of lost dogs were found, compared to just 53 percent of lost cats. More than a third of the recovered dogs were found by a call or visit to an animal shelter.

A lost dog is more likely to be reunited with its owner than a lost cat, according to two new studies.

In one city in southwestern Ohio , researchers found that 71 percent of lost dogs were found, compared to just 53 percent of lost cats.

More than a third of the recovered dogs were found by a call or visit to an animal shelter. More than one in four dogs were found because the animal wore a dog license or identification tag at the time of its disappearance.

“The animal control system is a key component in the recovery of lost dogs, but owners have to be vigilant about calling and visiting these agencies,” said Linda Lord, the lead author of both studies and an assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine. “Some form of visual identification is also critical to the recovery of a pet, and can result in a faster recovery.”

Although Ohio law requires that dogs be licensed, just 41 percent of the lost dogs in the study wore a license at the time of their disappearance. Less than half (48 percent) of dogs had an identification tag or microchip when they went missing. Microchips, which are implanted under the skin, provide permanent identification about where a pet belongs. Cat owners aren't required to identify their pet, and 19 percent of lost cats had a tag or microchip at the time they were lost.

More than half of the cats returned on their own, but less than one in 10 dogs did.

The results of the two studies appear in the January 15 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Lord and her colleagues restricted their four-month study to Dayton , Ohio , and the surrounding county. They collected information on lost cats and dogs by scanning classified advertisements in the local newspaper and by contacting the county dog warden and two area humane societies. Each agency kept a log of the phone number and date of contact for any owner who called or visited the agency regarding a lost cat or dog.

Researchers interviewed by phone owners of lost pets who agreed to participate in the study. Collectively, these owners reported the disappearance of 138 cats and 187 dogs. Owners answered a series of questions related to the recovery of their pet, including what kind of methods they used to search for the missing animal.

The researchers also asked the owners if the animal was wearing an identification tag; a rabies tag; a dog license tag (applies only to dogs); or had a microchip at the time it disappeared. Each shelter scanned animals for microchips.

Two out of three (66 percent) of the lost cats came home on their own. Only 8 percent of lost dogs returned home on their own.

“Many people think that a missing cat just comes home on its own,” Lord said. “Most of the lost cats that were recovered in our study did return home on their own, but nearly half of the cats reported missing were never found.”

More than one out of three owners (35 percent) found their lost dogs at a shelter. Just 7 percent of cat owners who recovered their pet found it at a shelter.

“Cat owners tend to wait longer to call and visit a shelter,” said Lord, adding that cat owners waited about three days before contacting a local animal shelter, while dog owners waited about a day to do so.

“The cats that stayed missing during the study may have been in a shelter, and could have been euthanized because their owner didn't call or visit the shelter,” Lord said.

One of the best ways to locate a pet may be to post a sign in the neighborhood, the study showed.

Posted signs resulted in the return of 15 percent of recovered dogs and 11 percent of found cats. Six dogs (4.5 percent) and two cats (3 percent) made it home because of an advertisement in the newspaper.

“Less than half of the pet owners in this study hung signs around their neighborhood,” Lord said. “But this could be a very effective way to find a pet. If someone loses a pet, they should get something visible out there to let people know about the missing animal.”

Lord says that many pet owners may not know how to go about finding their lost cat or dog.

“For many of the owners in this study, it was the first time their pet had disappeared,” Lord said. “Pet owners should think about having a plan in place in case their pet is lost. Both animal shelters and veterinarians can educate their clients and the public about the best course of action to take when a pet is missing.”

Lord said that websites dedicated to helping people find missing pets are a lesser-known alternative to finding lost pets.

“Most important, though, is adequate identification of a pet,” she said.

Lord conducted the studies with Thomas Wittum and Päivi Rajala-Schultz, both in the department of veterinary preventive medicine at Ohio State; Amy Ferketich, division of epidemiology, School of Public Health at Ohio State; and Julie Funk, with National Food Safety and Toxicology Center in East Lansing, Mich.

The research was supported by a grant from the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Lost Dogs Found More Often Than Lost Cats, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070114184225.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2007, January 15). Lost Dogs Found More Often Than Lost Cats, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070114184225.htm
Ohio State University. "Lost Dogs Found More Often Than Lost Cats, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070114184225.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins