|Description||While there has been a considerable drop in the number of homeless animals in the United States over the past decade, the problem has not yet been fixed. Unfortunately, out of fifty states, North Carolina has the fifth-highest euthanasia rate. While spaying and neutering is the best course of action, not everyone adheres. In Pitt County, all animals adopted from the Pitt County Animal Shelter (PCAS) are spayed or neutered before they go to their new homes which have dramatically cut down on the homeless pet population. While a great number of people adopt from open admission shelters, some do not because of the beliefs, or lack thereof, about the animals, people, procedures, and practices at these shelters. Currently, PCAS has several programs aimed at educating the public, yet these programs are not well known nor are they assessed for efficacy. Likewise, programs are in place to provide the animals with enrichment, yet they do not know if the public is aware of these programs. The purpose of this research project is to assess what members of Pitt County know about PCAS, how they find out about available animals, why they adopt from shelters, and what they would like to see PCAS focus on in the future.
Research question 1: How are shelter patrons learning of the animals available for adoption?
Research question 2: What are the experiences of shelter patrons?
Research question 3: What does the community know about Pitt County Animal Services?
Targeting two populations, shelter patrons and community members, data will be collected using surveys at the shelter via face-to-face interactions and online using Qualtrics, respectively. Both surveys will include Likert-type questions and open-ended questions and the data will be analyzed using SPSS and hand-coding. PCAS will use this information for two purposes, both of which will aid them in their daily operations. First, they will use the adoption information to better focus marketing efforts. Second, they will use the community information to address shortcomings and build better relationships with the surrounding community members.||