Dogs at Tucson Shelters to Participate in Stress Study | The bugs corner
TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) – The Pima Animal Care Center is one of two animal shelters in the country involved in a to study who will find out how a dog’s stress level is reduced when placed with a foster family versus staying in the shelter.
“When we all enter a shelter, it is very loud, there is a lot of barking. We only have to experience it for 15 or 30 minutes, but dogs live in these conditions all the time, ”said Dr. Lisa Gunter, Arizona State University research fellow. study.
Gunter said in previous research that she found that a shelter dog’s stress level was cut in half by spending only one or two nights in a foster home. This study will place the dogs in foster care for a full week. The researchers plan to study around 50 dogs.
“I’m excited for the dog coming home with me. I have a big yard and a relaxing house, ”said Alexandra Cox, a study volunteer.
Daniela Torres and Anshu Kamur adopt a dog involved in the study.
“We are both graduate and doctoral students. students so we know what research means, ”Torres said. “You have to take samples and be meticulous.
Dogs will wear activity monitors on their collars to track their behavior. The dog’s cortisol will be measured through daily urine samples to determine how his stress level is changing.
“We collect so much pee. We do it easily. We get up in the morning much like them and take them out the first hour, ”Gunter said.
She said fostering placement allows the shelter to see how a pet interacts with families or other pets in a family environment.
“When we think about adopting dogs and placing them in new homes, I think any information we can get on how they are in a house where they also live under less stressful conditions, I think that is ‘is a real victory, “she said.
PACC continues to see a very high supply of animals and encourages the community to welcome or adopt. Last week, the shelter reported hosting more than 370 dogs and more than 261 cats. The seven-day host family study begins this week and is still recruiting people to participate as host families. Find more information about the study, here.