Maddie's Pet Project

New survey uncovers Nevada’s big love for cats and dogs

The fate of animals in shelters is important to 91% of Nevadans.

That’s what a new 2018 survey commissioned by Maddie's® Pet Project in Nevada found.

The survey also found that the vast majority – 87% – say the well-being of cats is important to them, and 97% say the same for dogs.

“Nevadans clearly love pets and clearly support the organizations trying to help them,” said Mark Robison, co-executive director of Maddie's® Pet Project. “Knowing this, a big opportunity reveals itself to harness the power of individuals and existing animal welfare groups to make life better for every cat and dog in the state.”

The survey was done in order to gauge the attitudes of people in Nevada about pets as well as their level of access to veterinary care. During the next three years, Maddie's® Pet Project aims to create a safety net for cats and dogs across the Silver State by working with existing shelters, rescue groups, government agencies, and others to help more homeless pets find good homes and to help more pets stay in their homes by improving access to veterinary care.

Wakefield Research completed the survey in January. It includes responses from a representative sample of 1,000 residents across Nevada, as well as 600 in rural areas and 600 in low-income urban parts of the state.

Among the survey’s other highlights:
• 93% of Nevadans have owned a pet.
• 88% feel it is appropriate to grieve the death of a pet.
• 80% have had challenges paying a veterinary bill.
• 76% are interested in volunteering to help cats and dogs in their community.
• And only 5% disagree with the statement that animal shelters are a good use of community resources.

Differences between those in rural Nevada and the state overall stood out on at least one question: About 27% of Nevadans say they would help a stray cat find a new home, whereas 46% of those in rural areas would do so.

Another topic of the survey was “Trap, Neuter, Return,” or TNR. This is a program through which free-roaming or feral cats are humanely captured to be spayed or neutered and later released back where they came from in order to prevent the reproduction of such cats. This program is seen as an alternative to “euthanizing” these cats in shelters. When informed of this, more than 4 out of 5 Nevadans say they support such programs.

“With a little help, Nevada could become a shining example for the rest of the nation on caring for its pets,” Robison said. “Maddie's Pet Project plans to see that happen.”

Maddie's® Pet Project in Nevada will have this survey conducted again in three years to determine whether attitudes toward pets and levels of access to veterinary care have changed.

Maddie’s® Pet Project in Nevada is made possible by the generosity of the Nevada-based Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation as well as Maddie’s® Fund. The statewide campaign is in memory of the Duffield’s beloved dog, Maddie.

Caption: A volunteer from A Home 4 Spot Animal Rescue introduces Evan to his new friend Noodle during Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days in April.