Attitudes toward companion animals among hispanic residents of a Texas border community

  • Poss J
  • Bader J
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Abstract

The researchers surveyed 206 residents of a Hispanic community on the Texas-Mexico border about their behaviors and attitudes toward companion animals. Selected members of the community administered a telephone survey to a systematic random sample of 206 individuals. The majority of participants believed that free-roaming dogs were a problem in their community, and nearly 81% responded that these dogs sometimes prevented them from walking outdoors. About 24% of dog guardians sometimes let their nonhuman animals roam free in the streets. Most study participants believed it was a good idea to sterilize both male and female dogs and cats, but only 11% of respondents' dogs and 27% of cats were sterilized. About 62% of households chained dogs outdoors; persons with an elementary-level education were 7 times more likely to chain their dogs than those who had completed some high school. The Hispanic population of the United States is growing rapidly; to guide officials charged with protecting animal welfare and the public health, it will become increasingly important to understand Hispanics' attitudes and behaviors toward companion animals.

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Authors

  • Jane E. Poss

  • Julia O. Bader

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