Moving as a reason for pet relinquishment: a closer look

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Shore, Elsie R.
Petersen, Connie L.
Douglas, Deanna K.

Journal of applied animal welfare science : JAAWS. 2003; 6(1): 39-52.


One of the most frequently given reasons for relinquishing a companion animal to an animal shelter is that the person or family is moving. Telephone interviews conducted with 57 caregivers who relinquished animal companions to a shelter in the midwestern United States covered details of the move, characteristics both of the caregivers and the animals, and efforts to avoid relinquishment. A human-nonhuman animal bonding scale also was administered. Although some participants had additional reasons for relinquishment, the majority had given up their pets solely because they were moving. Most had relatively low income, were moving for employment reasons, and were renting their homes. Landlord restrictions were an important factor in relinquishment. High scores on the bonding scale and spontaneous expressions of discomfort and sorrow suggest that external pressures overrode attachment to the animal and the pain of relinquishment.

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