Few things are as controversial in the animal welfare world as free pet adoptions, primarily out of concern that the homes the pets go to won’t be as good as those where the adopter pays a fee. Is that concern justified?
No, researchers say. Survey results gathered from 1,099 pet adopters from the fee-waived 2011 Maddie's® Matchmaker Adoptathon in a recent study conducted by researchers at Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida found that the free adoptions were extremely successful in terms of caregiver characteristics like being attached to the pets, as well as in the pet’s own lifestyle and care:
- Ninety-three percent of the dogs and 95 percent of the cats were still with their adopters a year after the event.
- Most pets lived predominantly indoors, slept in the family bed, and had been to a veterinarian
- 94 percent of all respondents declared a strong or very strong attachment to the pet, whether the pet was retained or not.
The researchers concluded that successful adoptions do not require payment of a fee, and free adoption promotions may increase adoptions without compromising the quality of the animal's life.
View the study poster here.
S. L. MacArthur, J. K. Levy, P. A. Dingman, S. J. Tucker; Outcome of pets adopted during a waived-fee adoption event. Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL USA.