Dog and cat population dynamics in an urban area: Evaluation of a birth control strategy

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Abstract

For canine and feline population management in an urban area, a set of well-developed strategies is required to prevent overpopulation, the abandonment of animals, and zoonosis. An understanding of the dynamics of these populations and a characterization of these populations are necessary for action planning. The proposed strategies should be monitored and evaluated so that canine and feline population management programs are properly implemented. Population management programs can be improved through evidence based adaptive management. The objective of this study was to characterize the canine and feline populations and their dynamics in an urban area and to evaluate the impact of a birth control program. Three cross-sectional census surveys and a birth control program were conducted in a neighborhood of São Paulo area with 4,275 households. The two first surveys were performed in 2005 and 2006, prior to implementation of the birth control program, and were used to characterize the canine and feline populations. The third survey was performed in 2008, eighteen months after the birth control strategy had been established. The canine population decreased from 2006 to 2008, after birth control. The mean age for the canine population was 3.36 years; 65% of the dogs were younger than 3 years of age. The mean life expectancy at birth was 3.9 years for male dogs and 5.9 years for female dogs. The mean age for the feline population was 1.66 years; 74% of the cats were 1 year of age or less. The canine and feline populations had a high mortality rate for juveniles younger than 1 year of age. There was an 8% and an 18% decrease in canine and feline birth rates, respectively, after spay or neuter intervention. There was a high animal population turnover, which was more pronounced in the feline population.

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Garcia, R. C. M., Amaku, M., Biondo, A. W., & Ferreira, F. (2018). Dog and cat population dynamics in an urban area: Evaluation of a birth control strategy. Pesquisa Veterinaria Brasileira, 38(3), 511–518. https://doi.org/10.1590/1678-5150-PVB-4205

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