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Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Improve Understanding of Animal Adoption and Relinquishment

Authors: Ziying Jiang*, Miami University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Applied Geography
Keywords: GIS, animal shelter, adoption, relinquishment
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study utilized GIS to reveal spatial distribution of adoptions from the Animal Adoption Foundation (AAF) of Butler County, OH and to analyze the relationship between adoptions and community’s demographic and socioeconomic status. The point and kernel density maps of the AAF adoptions and returns in 2017 (n= 368) revealed a spatial concentration of adoptions in city areas close to the shelter. Over 80% of AAF adoptions occurred within a 20 mile (32.19 kilometer) driving distance to the shelter. Educational attainment, family demographics, homeownership, and income exhibited statistically significant differences between census block groups with adoptions and those without. In addition, homeownership showed a statistically significant difference between the groups with successful adoptions and the groups with returns, suggesting that this variable can be used as an indicator for retention rate. GIS analysis on aggregated community data allows local shelters to better understand animal rescue in the community and by revealing the patterns, trends and relationships worthy of further investigation, helps shelters allocate limited resources to meet the community’s urgent needs.

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