Conditions for dogs in Ohio's animal shelters have improved during the past decade, but they have deteriorated for cats.
The Ohio State University study's findings are believed reflective of the entire nation.
The state's animal shelters reported receiving 16 percent fewer dogs during 2004, while the number of cats taken in increased by nearly 20 percent. And, while the number of euthanized dogs decreased by 39 percent, the number of cats put to sleep was up by nearly 14 percent.
Linda Lord, the study's lead author and a research fellow in veterinary preventive medicine science at Ohio State University, and colleagues collected 2004 data from 165 animal care and control agencies across Ohio. They compared the results with those of a similar study conducted in 1996.
The researchers queried local dog wardens, humane societies and animal control agencies in each of Ohio's 88 counties. Among other things, the study revealed since 1996 the number of shelters that vaccinate and spay or neuter their animals has gone up from 56 percent to nearly 71 percent.
The results of the survey appear in the July issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: From penguin hearts to addax embryos: 'Frozen zoo' helps preserve, save lives