The bulk of research to date has investigated relinquishment of dogs and cats at the point of return to shelters. Fewer studies have reported on the outcomes of dogs and cats after adoption. Unfortunately there are considerable differences in location, type, design, and quality of studies, sampled population, analysis, and interpretation. Additional investigation into adoption success and failure for different species, and exploration of intervention strategies, may help reduce the risk of pets leaving homes after adoption. Interventions that target owners at the point of adoption as well as in the first few weeks of ownership are likely to be the most effective. In 1989 Kidd et al. proposed that adopters be questioned about expectations for and attitudes toward their adopted pets at the point of acquisition, and those with unrealistic expectations be encouraged to receive appropriate training and counseling in responsible and informed pet ownership16. Tailored intervention methods for more at-risk adopters are the next critical step in further reducing pet abandonment in the United States.
ÂŠ 2013 American Humane Association.