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Open Access Socio-Economic Factors in Companion Animal Relinquishment on the Sunshine Coast, Australia

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Socio-Economic Factors in Companion Animal Relinquishment on the Sunshine Coast, Australia

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Affiliations: 1: School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Business and Law, University of the Sunshine Coast QueenslandAustralia ; 2: School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Business and Law, University of the Sunshine Coast QueenslandAustralia

There is a critical need to reduce the surrender rates of companion animals by understanding the socio-economic circumstances of caretakers. This research analyzed questionnaires with 117 relinquishers and 13 interviews. Interviews were conducted with relinquishers and staff at Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge Society and Sunshine Coast Animal Pound. Most companion animals relinquished were from litters and around half were de-sexed and micro-chipped. A caretaker’s living situation was a critical reason for relinquishment. Humans need to understand the time and space needs of companion species, how these might change with time, and the relationality between humans and companion animals. Alongside regulated breeding and accessible sterilization, shelter staff and other organizations might offer more tailored solutions, especially temporary care, during times of socio-economic crisis. Fundamentally, individuals need to critically examine their commitment to caretaking, but solutions are also structural and should be tailored to the underpinning socio-economic geography of different regions.


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