Department of Animal Protection, Welfare and Behaviour, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Brno, Czech Republic
The physical features of the dog were reported to play a significant role in the choice of a dog to adopt.
The aim of this study was to identify factors affecting length of stay (LOS) of dogs at a no-kill shelter in the Czech Republic.
Records on characteristics of shelters dogs were collected from a Czech municipal shelter in the period from 2007 to 2016. The results were analyzed using the statistical package Unistat 5.6 (a two-tailed Mann-Whitney U test or a Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA).
The median LOS was 34.5 days. Males stayed at the shelter longer (p<0.001) than females (median LOS 40 and 29 days, respectively). Medium and large dogs stayed at the shelter longer (p<0.001) than small dogs (median LOS 42, 48, and 26 days, respectively). The median LOS of dogs increased significantly (p<0.001) with increasing age from 18 days in the youngest category (less than six months) to 123 days in the oldest (aged nine years and more). Crossbreds stayed at the shelter slightly longer than purebreds (median LOS 35 and 32 days, respectively), however, the difference in median LOS was not statistically significant (p>0.05). Dogs with impaired health stayed at the shelter longer (p<0.001) than dogs with no clinical signs of disease (median LOS 67 and 26 days, respectively).
Our findings are in agreement with the results of many foreign shelter studies showing an almost uniform perception of these traits across different communities.