Med. Weter. 76 (2), 98-102, 2020

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Evaluation of dog spaying, animal welfare, and dog owner/caretaker knowledge in Afyonkarahisar Province
The present study evaluated the demographics and knowledge of the dog owners regarding the importance of dog spaying/neutering and animal welfare in Afyonkarahisar Province. Therefore, the original questionnaires were prepared to evaluate the knowledge of dog owners/caretakers about dog reproduction, spaying of dogs, and stray animal welfare. The mean age of participants was 33, and 51.8% of responders were female and 48.2% were male. Most of the dogs (83.7%) were not spayed/neutered and spaying/neutering age was ≥ 2 years. Fifty-five per cent of owners had a dog for more than 5 years, and only 2% of dogs were obtained from a dog shelter. Most of the participants reported that municipalities should take more active roles and increase the number and quality of animal shelters. Adopting dogs from shelters, putting food and water containers on the streets for stray dogs, and promoting the awareness of people regarding animal rights and welfare were among the responses. There was a knowledge deficiency regarding the importance of spaying/neutering dogs, especially spaying females, and the reproductive characteristics of dogs that may cause an increase in the stray dog population and unwanted puppies. The results of this study revealed that the dissemination of accurate information to people is a crucial point in the welfare of both stray and owned dogs and controlling the overpopulation of free-roaming dogs.
Keywords: spaying, owner knowledge, stray dog, animal welfare