Event Title

An evaluation of the role the website PetfinderTM plays in cat adoptions

Location

Edwards 106

Document Type

Oral/PowerPoint Presentation (10 minutes and 5 minute Q and A)

Description

Millions of cats enter animal shelters each year, and 71% of them are euthanized (American Humane Association). This study explored whether there was an association between an adoptable cat’s popularity on the website Petfinder and the cat’s length of stay on the adoption floor (hereafter referenced as length of stay). This study also examined factors that contributed to a cat’s popularity on Petfinder. The dataset was comprised of 892 cats adopted over a one-year period from the SPCA Serving Erie County in Tonawanda, NY. Statistics about which photographs were clicked on Petfinder were compared with data from the shelter’s database, and photographs were analyzed to determine what factors were associated with a cat’s popularity on the website. Number of clicks/day received on Petfinder was negatively correlated with length of stay. Age at adoption was positively correlated with length of stay and negatively correlated with number of clicks/day. This indicates that age may be an important variable for both clicks/day and length of stay, with kittens being more popular than adult cats. Primary coat color also was a strong predictor of number of clicks/day and length of stay. After controlling for these variables, the only variable within the photographer’s control associated with clicks/day was the presence of a toy in the photo. Although physical characteristics of the cat are strong predictors of a cat’s popularity on Petfinder, using toys to increase a cat’s attractiveness may promote adoptions of cats who are typically overlooked.

Start Date

April 2014

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Apr 26th, 10:20 AM

An evaluation of the role the website PetfinderTM plays in cat adoptions

Edwards 106

Millions of cats enter animal shelters each year, and 71% of them are euthanized (American Humane Association). This study explored whether there was an association between an adoptable cat’s popularity on the website Petfinder and the cat’s length of stay on the adoption floor (hereafter referenced as length of stay). This study also examined factors that contributed to a cat’s popularity on Petfinder. The dataset was comprised of 892 cats adopted over a one-year period from the SPCA Serving Erie County in Tonawanda, NY. Statistics about which photographs were clicked on Petfinder were compared with data from the shelter’s database, and photographs were analyzed to determine what factors were associated with a cat’s popularity on the website. Number of clicks/day received on Petfinder was negatively correlated with length of stay. Age at adoption was positively correlated with length of stay and negatively correlated with number of clicks/day. This indicates that age may be an important variable for both clicks/day and length of stay, with kittens being more popular than adult cats. Primary coat color also was a strong predictor of number of clicks/day and length of stay. After controlling for these variables, the only variable within the photographer’s control associated with clicks/day was the presence of a toy in the photo. Although physical characteristics of the cat are strong predictors of a cat’s popularity on Petfinder, using toys to increase a cat’s attractiveness may promote adoptions of cats who are typically overlooked.