ContentServer - Human Ecology Vol 32 No 1 February 2004 C...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Human Ecology, Vol. 32, No. 1, February 2004 ( C 2004) An Interactive Model of Human and Companion Animal Dynamics: The Ecology and Economics of Dog Overpopulation and the Human Costs of Addressing the Problem Joshua Frank 1 Companion animal overpopulation is a problem of human creation with sig- nificant human costs that can only be addressed through human action. A model was constructed to understand the dynamics of canine overpopulation and the effectiveness of various policy options for reducing euthanasia. The model includes economic and ecological factors in human and dog popula- tions. According to the model, a “no-kill” society is an achievable goal at an acceptable human cost. Spay/neuter programs were generally found to be the most effective, with increasing adoptions also being an effective option. How- ever, spay/neuter policies need to be evaluated over a very long time horizon since full impact may not be achieved for 30 years or more. Spay/neuter efforts can have a large impact even if they only effect a small portion of the human population. Adoption and spay/neuter programs were found to work well in combination, and to continue being effective as society approaches “no-kill” dynamics. KEY WORDS: dog; overpopulation; spay; neuter; adoption. INTRODUCTION Human companion animal overpopulation is a problem of human cre- ation with significant human costs that can only be addressed through hu- man action. In many respects, companion animals lie in an unusual gray area 1 The Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Wel- fare (FIREPAW), 228 Main Street, # 436, Williamstown, Massachusetts 01267-2641; e-mail: [email protected] 107 0300-7839/04/0200-0107/0 C 2004 Plenum Publishing Corporation
Image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
108 Frank between the human world and the natural environment. Legally and eco- nomically, these animals are property and a tradable “good” and therefore lie within the realm of industrialized human society. However, at the same time, companion animals are also a connection between human society and the natural environment. In addition, humans have a certain responsibility for the welfare of com- panion animals. Dogs, the focus of this study, have been bred for thousands of years to serve our needs. They have therefore ceased being truly “wild” animals and instead become dependent on humans for survival. As the cre- ators of a species dependent on humans, we have a certain responsibility for that species’ welfare. Humans also have a responsibility for address- ing dog overpopulation since they are in a sense the perpetuators of the problem. Pet store suppliers, commercial breeders, and private owners (or “backyard breeders”) intentionally produce millions of animals every year to meet public demand. Millions of consumers initially decide to purchase or adopt a dog, only to later abandon that animal because it is inconve- nient or no longer suits their needs. Millions more choose not to spay or neuter their dog. Therefore, it is human actions and inaction that perpetuate
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern