Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Woodruff, Kimberly

Committee Member

Smith, David

Committee Member

Brookshire, Cooper

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Complete embargo for 2 years

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Veterinary Medical Science (Population Medicine)

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Veterinary Medicine


Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine


United States animal shelters care for unwanted animals until they are adopted, transferred to another facility, or euthanized. However, there are unanswered questions about what factors predict these outcomes, and what risks shelter dogs pose to human public health. The objective of this thesis was to use quantitative methods to answer questions in animal shelters that apply not only to the animals housed within them, but also the personnel that they employ. One chapter of this thesis will focus on defining humane organizations in the United States and quantifying the number of shelters that exist in five US states. The bulk of this thesis will focus on identifying phenotypic characteristics to predict the outcomes of adoption, euthanasia, and transfer of shelter dogs in municipally funded shelters in states from each region of the US. Finally, the last chapter will identify shelter characteristics that affect shelter worker vaccination against rabies virus.



animal shelters||epidemiology||public health