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A cross-divisional department spanning

One Health Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University

The CoWelf Study

The CoWelf Study

Assessing Animal Shelter and Rescue Group Stakeholders’ Community Support Measures and Animal Population Data, during the Coronavirus Pandemic (CoWelf)

Participants include:

The Covid Welfare CoWelf study is collecting information from animal care workers on their affiliated organization’s challenges and local-community pet-owner struggles, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of this work is to better understand the circumstances surrounding these events to effectively support animal care workers, organization operations, and their efforts in protecting the well-being of pets and their owners.

We encourage you to participate if you are:

  • An animal shelter worker.

  • An animal rescue worker.

  • An animal control worker.

If you agree that you fit into the above categories and would like to participate in this study, please click on the survey, which takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.

The CoWelf Study Research Goals

The goals of this study are to identify, assess, and address welfare-related changes and challenges experienced by pet-owners and animal care organizations (i.e. animal shelter, rescues, and control facilities) across diverse US communities, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations that service racial/ethnic minority populations, such as Hispanic, Indigenous and African American populations, are especially of concern due to these populations historically facing existing sources of stress, including social, economic, and health inequities. We will accomplish the above goals through five objectives:

  • Identify and describe qualitative perspectives from stakeholders on the frequency and possible reasons behind pet adoptions, fosters, transfers, and relinquishments by individuals within their local community, before and during the pandemic. 
  • Determine the numerical extent of pet adoptions, fosters, transfers, and relinquishments before and during the pandemic.
  • Describe current and future animal care organization problems and concerns, e.g. financial crises; and identify potential stakeholder methods that have been utilized to circumvent these problems, e.g. moving public adoption events to virtual events online.
  • Determine community support measures employed by stakeholders to alleviate crises of their local pet-owner community.
  • Explore the possible relationship between community demographics from public data sources, e.g.US Census Bureau data on race/ethnicity, income/poverty level, and number of community evictions, with number of pet relinquishments or adoptions across different types of communities, i.e. urban, suburban, vs. rural. 

The fundamental goal of this work is to better understand the circumstances surrounding these events via the perspectives of animal care organization workers, to effectively support them, organization operations, and their efforts in protecting the well-being of pets and their owners.

The CoWelf Study Research Team

Principal Investigator

Co-Investigators 

Study Coordinators

  • Sharmaine Miller, PhD (primary)

  • Kathryn Dalton, VMD, PhD, MPH

  • Kaitlin Waite, DVM MPH

  • Erin Beasley, DVM MPH

  • Joyce Kwan

  • Andrea Uhlig, MHS

  • Megan Amos

  • Lexi Apgar-Arpin, DVM

  • Justin Edwards

 

Contact: cowelf@jhu.edu