Yesterday I ran across the 2013 People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals’ Animal Wellbeing Report. This report looks at the state of pet care in the United Kingdom. PDSA annually surveys companion animal caregivers, children aged 10-16, and veterinary professionals, to measure the well-being of cats, dogs, and rabbits.
The UK’s Animal Welfare Act 2006 spelled out 5 welfare needs of pets. They are: Environment, Diet, Behavior, Companionship and Health. Sadly, this study found that only 38% of those responding knew anything about the welfare act or the 5 welfare needs, down from 45% in 2011. And only 7% of children surveyed knew anything about the law.
What else does the study reveal?
Well, 23% of the UK population has a dog, and 64% of those dogs are of pedigree. Also, 23% of the population has a cat, and 3% has a rabbit. Cat owners are not so concerned about pedigree, and there was no information about rabbits.
On the brighter side, 88% of pet owners think the UK is a nation of animal lovers, and 91% said it’s important to regularly monitor pet wellbeing.
Some other interesting statistics:
58% of pups were not taken to training classes when young
80% of respondents said their dog was microchipped
57% of cat households have fewer litter trays than number of cats (do you know why that’s important?)
90% of respondents said their cat is afraid of something
65% of rabbits live alone, which is sad for such a social animal
And the saddest statistic to me: 26% of people take no advice whatsoever before obtaining a pet. Really? None?
Veterinary professionals were asked their greatest concerns for animal welfare. Their answers:
51% were concerned people don’t understand the true cost of pet ownership
33% were concerned people aren’t aware of the 5 welfare needs of pets
33% were concerned that people didn’t do their homework before obtaining a pet
I have to say the Animal Welfare Act was fascinating to learn about. How refreshing to see legislation that spelled out what should be expected for the care of companion animals. Here where I live, the standards for companion animal care are nowhere near as high.
So, UK readers, what do you think about the findings?
By the way, TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to vote for the DogTime Petties Awards. I hope you’ll put in one last vote for Rumpydog to be the Best Cause Blog for 2014!