Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R2510


Companion Animal

Summary and Implications

It is important that when an owner decides to relinquish their canine that the information provided on the forms are accurate and not conflicting in detail.

Therefore, the objectives of this study were to (1) identify the top three issues for why a canine is relinquished, (2) report on the percentage of canines relinquished due to the recession and, (3) identify the percentage of canines relinquished for behavioral related issues at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

The top three issues for owner relinquishment for canines at the ARL were 1) too many animals (13.4 %), 2) moving (12.1 %) and 3) found-cannot keep (9.0 %) respectively. Owner relinquishment due to “cannot afford” for 2008 on average was 8.3 %. However, the second half of the year (July to December) had a much higher average percentage of relinquishments per month (10.7 %) than the first half of the year (January to June; 6%). Overall, owner relinquishment due to “cannot afford” for 2008 was 8.3 %. Of the 1,947 canine relinquishment cases that were included in this retrospective study, 96 % of those dogs were relqinuisehd with “non-behavior related relinquishmetns” and 4 % were “behavior related relinquishments.” Therefore in conclusion, the top three issues given by the owners for why a canine was relinquished at the ARL of Iowa was not behaviorally related. The 2008 recession did seem to affect the number of canine relinquishments with more dogs entering the ARL of Iowa in the second half of 2008 with “cannot afford” noted by their owners as the main reason.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University