Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell

Shelter Dogs  

Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell


Research

Research in Shelter Medicine in the Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program

Discovering new knowledge is essential to our mission of saving lives and reducing suffering in homeless animals. The principles of herd health have been known for decades, but the application of these principles to shelter populations is new. It is essential that we understand how best to prevent pet relinquishment, behavioral deterioration and disease occurrence in shelters, and how best to improve disease control efforts. We also believe that already disadvantaged animals must not suffer in the research process.

Our research (called epidemiologic research) is done at the applied level, predominantly observing, quantifying and comparing what happens to shelter animals under various conditions that already exist in shelters. Occasionally we acquire blood or urine from our subjects (in the same way that we would obtain specimens from privately owned pets) to determine whether they are infected with pathogenic agents and to monitor their biologic responses to these agents or to environmental factors. All of our research is aimed at improving the lives of shelter animals and reducing their suffering.

Research Projects

Current projects involve:

  • designing and implementing strategies to improve adoption rates for cats.
  • designing and implementing strategies to help decrease URI rates and help improve URI recovery rates in cats.
  • examining the impact of sheltering on feline body condition and weight.

Former projects of Faculty

Frequency of Giardia infection and zoonotic potential in cats
Janeczko, S.D., Griffin, B., Barr, S.C., Scarlett, J.M. Prevalence of, Risk Factors for, and Assemblage Types of Giardia Infection in Cats Housed in an Animal Shelter. Proceedings of the 2009 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, Montreal, Quebec, June 3-6, 2009.

Frequency of canine influenza entering and circulating in shelters
Janeczko, S, Scarlett, J.M. Incidence of canine influenza infection in dogs in two large urban animal control facilities. Proceedings of the 12th Symposium of the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Durban, South Africa, August 10-14, 2009. Abstract 186.

Janeczko, S, Scarlett, J.M. Clinical signs associated with diagnostic testing for canine influenza infection in an animal shelter. Proceedings the 12th Symposium of the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Durban, South Africa, August 10-14, 2009. Poster 782.

Effectiveness of an High Quality High Volume Spay/Neuter (HQHVSN) program in reducing shelter impoundments
Scarlett, J.M., Johnston, N., Mazzina, Q., Brestle, K. Effectiveness of a high quality, high volume spay neuter clinic on impoundments and euthanasias in a community shelter and on service and complaint calls to animal control (in writing phase)

Bollen, K.S. & Horowitz, J. Behavioral evaluation and demographic information in the assessment of aggressiveness in shelter dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 11: 120-135, 2008.

Dinnage, J., Scarlett, J.M. Descriptive epidemiology of feline upper respiratory tract disease in an animal shelter J Feline Med Surg, 11: 817-825 2009.

Scarlett, J.M., Saidla, J., Pollock, R.V.H. Source of acquisition as a risk factor for disease and death in pups. J Amer Vet Med Assoc 204:1906-1913, 1994.

Salman, M., New, J., Scarlett, J.M., Kass, P., Ruch-Gallie, R., Hetts, S. Human and animal factors related to the relinquishment of dogs and cats in 12 selected animal shelters in the U.S.A. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 1:207-226, 1998.

Scarlett, J.M., Salman, M., New, J., Kass, P. Reasons for relinquishment of pets in U.S. shelters: Lifestyle issues and allergies. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2:41-57, 1999.

New, J.C. Jr, Salman, M.D., Scarlett, J.M., Kass, P, Vaughn, J.A., Scherr, S., Kelch, W.J. The role of human housing factors in the relinquishment t of dogs and cats to animal shelter in the U.S.A. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2:83-96, 1999.

New, J.C., Salman, M.D., Scarlett, J.M., Kass, P.H., Gehrke, B., King, M., Hutchinson, J. Characteristics of shelter-relinquished animals and their owners compared with animals and their owners in U.S. pet-owning households. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 3:179-201, 2000.

Salman, M., Hutchison, J., Ruch-Gallie, R., Kagan, L., New, J., Kass, P.H., Scarlett, J.M. Behavioral reasons for relinquishment of dogs and cats to 12 animal shelters J Appl Anim Welf Sci 3:93-106, 2000.

Spain, C.V., Scarlett, J.M., Wade, S. McDonough, P. Prevalence of enteric zoonotic agents in cats less than 1 year of age in Central New York State. J Vet Intern Med 15:33-38, 2001.

Kass, P.H., New, J.C., Scarlett, J.M., Salman, M.D. Understanding animal companion surplus in the United States: Relinquishment of nonadoptables to animal shelters for euthanasia. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 4:237-248, 2001.

Spain, C.V., Scarlett, J.M., Cully, S.M. When to neuter dogs and cats: a survey of New York State veterinarians practices and beliefs. J Amer Anim Hosp Assoc 38:482-488, 2002.

Spain, C.V., Scarlett, J.M., Houpt, K.A. Long-term risks and benefits of pediatric gonadectomy in cats. J Amer Vet Med Assoc 224:372-379, 2004.

Spain, C.V., Scarlett, J.M., Houpt, K.A. Long-term risks and benefits of pediatric gonadectomy in dogs. J Amer Vet Med Assoc 224:380-387, 2004.

New, J. C. Jr., Kelch, W.J., Hutchison, J.M., Salman, M.D., King, M., Scarlett, J.M., Kass, P.H. Birth and death rate estimates of cats and dogs in U.S. households and related factors. J Appl Anim Welf Sci, 7:229-41, 2004.

Christiansen, E., Scarlett, J.M., Houpt, K.A. Aggressive behavior in adopted dogs that passed a temperament test Applied Anim Behav Sci, 106:85-95, 2007.