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Dogs and Crime

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Reduced Rates of Property Crime in Homes with Dogs in Milwaukee, WI

image of Society & Animals

Previous attempts to quantify the role that dogs play in mitigating household property crime rates have produced mixed results. GIS and spatial analysis methods to conduct such an investigation are not well-represented in the anthrozoological academic press for an entire city. This study seeks to address these gaps using a GIS-based case study of dog license locations and reported property crime locations for land parcel data in the City of Milwaukee, WI, for 2011. We found that parcels with reported licensed dogs experienced property crime at rates of between 1.40 and 1.71 percentage points lower than the property crime rates for parcels that were zoned the same and did not have licensed dogs. This association between the presence of dogs and reduced property crime rates suggests dogs have a deterrent effect on property crime; more comprehensive analysis is encouraged to draw more concrete conclusions.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Urban and Public Affairs, University of Louisville Kentucky ; 2: Department of Geography & Geosciences Center for GIS, GIS Center, University of Louisville Kentucky


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