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. 2014;17(4):295-307.
doi: 10.1080/10888705.2014.905783. Epub 2014 Apr 25.

A Novel Approach to Identify and Map Kitten Clusters Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS): A Case Study From Tompkins County, NY

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A Novel Approach to Identify and Map Kitten Clusters Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS): A Case Study From Tompkins County, NY

Anna S Reading et al. J Appl Anim Welf Sci. .

Abstract

A retrospective study using a geographic information system (GIS) was conducted to capture, map, and analyze intake data of caregiver (owner)-surrendered kittens (aged 0-6 months) to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Tompkins County, NY, from 2009 to 2011. Addresses of caregiver-surrendered kittens during the study period were mapped (n = 1,017). Mapping and analysis of the resultant data set revealed that the distribution of kittens was nonrandom. Seventeen statistically significant (p = .001) clusters were identified, 1 of which was the SPCA of Tompkins County (due to anonymously surrendered nonhuman animals). The remaining 16 clusters were composed of 52 homes; 27.5% (280/1,017) of the kittens in the data set originated from these 52 homes. The majority of kittens within clusters were surrendered from high-density residential and manufactured residential home parks. Analyzing such clusters using GIS is a novel approach for targeting spay/neuter and educational programs to areas contributing disproportionately to shelter populations. This method may prove useful to help shelters more effectively allocate their limited resources, but further evaluation of this and other targeted approaches is needed to assess the long-term efficacy of such programs.

Keywords: GIS; animal shelter; cats.

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