The role of veterinary practices in the temporary care of healthy stray dogs: do veterinary personnel and members of the public agree?

Louise Buckley, Lingyi (Anna) Wang, Belinda Vigors

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract / Description of output

Objectives
This study aimed to compare the attitudes, beliefs and predicted behaviour of veterinary personnel (VP) and members of the public (MOPs) in respect of the role of the veterinary practice in the temporary care of healthy stray dogs.
Methods
An online cross-sectional survey distributed across social media and in the veterinary press that targeted VPs and MOPs, with Likert-type questions designed to assess attitudes, beliefs and behaviour across scenarios VP-evaluated for veterinary practice relevance.
Results
Usable responses were obtained from 312 VPs and 345 MOPs. Most VPs (64%) and MOPs (67%) believed that it was morally equally the responsibility of the finder and the veterinary practice to ensure the welfare of the dog. MOPs were significantly (P ≤0.018) more likely than VPs to consider it unacceptable for a veterinary practice to refuse to temporarily house healthy strays because of patient/staff welfare considerations, impact on VP personal life or stakeholder availability. Telling a finder to contact the dog warden as the dog was not the practice’s issue would cause significantly (P = 0.008) more (28.8%) MOPs than VPs to change vet practice if it was their dog turned away. In the absence of identification, telling the finder to keep the dog at their house had a similar significant effect (P = 0.004).
Impact
Veterinary practices should be mindful of the potential damaging reputational effects of not being seen to be willing to assist with the temporary care of healthy stray dogs. This should inform practice policy decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
EventBSAVA Annual Congress: Clinical Abstract Presentations Online -
Duration: 14 May 202015 May 2020

Conference

ConferenceBSAVA Annual Congress
Period14/05/2015/05/20

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