BC SPCA Animal Welfare Research Publications
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BC SPCA animal welfare research publications

The BC SPCA has more than 125 years of experience protecting and caring for animals. We aim to share our collection of research conducted by our scientists and affiliated researchers at BC SPCA locations with academics and scholars who are also working to improve the lives of animals.

University and college students can get involved with the BC SPCA through course-based practicums (such as UBC’s Applied Biology Practicum), veterinary and animal health technician externships and work placements. Speak to your faculty advisor first to see if you are eligible for course credit.

We also welcome opportunities to work with graduate students already funded and accepted into programs to undertake animal welfare or health studies.

Companion animal research

Himsworth CG, Leung D, Byers K, Joseph T, Gordon E, Schwantje H, Pritchard J and Ambagala A 2021 An outbreak of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease in British Columbia, Canada (PDF). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 57. doi: 10.7589/JWD-D-21-00061

Schor M and Protopopova A 2021 Effect of COVID-19 on Pet Food Bank Servicing: Quantifying Numbers of Clients Serviced in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside, British Columbia, Canada.  Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8: 730390.

Ellis A, van Haaften KA, Protopopova A and Gordon E 2021 Effect of a provincial feline onychectomy ban on cat intake and euthanasia in a British Columbia animal shelter systemJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 1-7. 

Li Y, Gordon E, Idle A, Hui A, Chan R, Seguin MA and Delwart E 2021 Astrovirus outbreak in animal shelter associated with feline vomiting. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8: 628082. 

Li Y, Gordon E, Shean RC, Idle A, Deng X, Greninger AL and Delwart E 2021 CrAssphage and its bacterial host in cat feces. Scientific Reports 11: 815.

Ly LH, Gordon E and Protopopova A 2021 Exploring the relationship between human social deprivation and animal surrender to shelters in British Columbia, Canada. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8: 656597. 

van Haaften KA, Grigg EK, Kolus C, Hart L and Kogan LR 2020 A survey of dog owners’ perceptions on the use of psychoactive medications and alternatives for the treatment of canine behavior problems. Journal of Veterinary Behavior 35: 27-33.

Eagan, BH 2020 The effect of animal shelter sound on cat behaviour and welfare(MSc thesis). University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Gordon E, Idle A and DeTar L 2020 Descriptive epidemiology of companion animal dermatophytosis in a Canadian Pacific Northwest animal shelter system. The Canadian Veterinary Journal 61: 763-770.

Li Y, Gordon E, Idle A, Altan E, Seguin MA, Estrada M, Deng X and Delwart E 2020 Virome of a feline outbreak of diarrhea and vomiting includes bocaviruses and a novel chapparvovirus. Viruses 12: 506.

Van der Velden M 2019 Is it possible to herd cats? Reporting on five years addressing cat overpopulation in British Columbia, Canada (PDF). BC SPCA: Vancouver, Canada

Makowska IJ 2018 Review of dog training methods: welfare, learning ability, and current standards (PDF). BC SPCA: Vancouver, Canada.

Kay A, Coe JB, Young I and Pearl D 2018 Factors influencing time to adoption for dogs in a provincial shelter system in Canada. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 4: 375-388.

Fraser D, Koralesky KE and Urton G 2018 Toward a harmonized approach to animal welfare law in Canada (PDF). Canadian Veterinary Journal 59: 293-302.

Boey J 2017 Working with communities to improve the quality of life of British Columbia’s free-roaming dogs and their people (PDF). M.A. Thesis, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada.

South C 2016 How to say ‘spay’ (PDF). BC SPCA UBC Research Report

Gourkow N and Phillips CJC 2015 Effect of interactions with humans on behaviour, mucosal immunity and upper respiratory disease of shelter cats rated as contented on arrival (PDF). Preventative Veterinary Medicine 121: 288-296.

Gourkow N, LaVoy A, Dean GA and Phillips CJC 2014 Associations of behaviour with secretory immunoglobulin A and cortisol in domestic cats during their first week in an animal shelter (PDF). Applied Animal Behaviour Science 150: 55-64.

Gourkow N, Hamon SC and Phillips CJC 2014 Effect of gentle stroking and vocalization on behaviour, mucosal immunity and upper respiratory disease in anxious shelter cats (PDF). Preventative Veterinary Medicine 117: 266-275.

Gourkow N, Lawson JH, Hamon SC and Phillips CJC 2013 Descriptive epidemiology of upper respiratory disease and associated risk factors in cats in an animal shelter in coastal western Canada (PDF). Canadian Veterinary Journal 54: 132-138.

MacNeil-Allcock A, Clarke NM, Ledger RA and Fraser D 2011 Aggression, behaviour, and animal care among pit bulls and other dogs adopted from an animal shelter (PDF). Animal Welfare 20: 463-468.

Ledger RA and Russ N 2010 The fate of cats adopted from rescue shelters in Canada (PDF). Journal of Veterinary Behavior 5: 35-36.

Ledger RA 2010 The relinquishment of rabbits to rescue shelters in Canada (PDF). Journal of Veterinary Behavior 5: 36-37.

Morris A 2008 Policies to promote socialization and welfare in dog breeding (PDF). M.P.P. Thesis, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada.

Gourkow N and Fraser D 2006 The effect of housing and handling practices on the welfare, behaviour and selection of domestic cats (Felis sylvestris catus) by adopters in an animal shelter (PDF). Animal Welfare 15: 371-377.

Orihel JS 2006 Management and rehabilitation of inter-dog aggression in animal shelters (PDF). M.Sc. Thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Orihel JS, Ledger RA and Fraser D 2005 A survey of the management of inter-dog aggression by animal shelters in Canada (PDF). Anthrozoös 18: 273-287.

Gourkow N 2001 Factors affecting the welfare and adoption rate of cats in an animal shelter (PDF). M.Sc. Thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Beautiful fluffy cat looking up into the lens

Wildlife research

Ryan EA 2021 Non-target interactions and humane evaluation of a captive bolt trap on commensal rodents (MSc thesis). University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

Xenakis N 2021 Humane pigeon population management using avian contraceptive OvoControl® P at TransLink SkyTrain stations in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada (MSc thesis). University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

McInnes CJ, Shuttleworth CM, Larsen KW, Everest DJ, Bruemmer C, Carroll B,  Romeo C, Sainsbury T, Crawshaw G, Dubois S, Gillis L, Gilray J, Percival A 2020 Introduced Canadian eastern grey squirrels: squirrelpox virus surveillance and why nothing matters. Hystrix It. J. Mamm 31(2): 95-98.

Dubois S, Fenwick N, Ryan EA, Baker L, Baker SE, Beausoleil NJ, Carter S, Cartwright B, Costa F, Draper C, Griffin J, Grogan A, Howald G, Jones B, Littin KE, Lombard AT, Mellor DJ, Ramp D, Schuppli CA and Fraser D 2017 International consensus principles for ethical wildlife control (PDF). Conservation Biology 4: 753-760. (View ethical wildlife control infographic PDF of this publication)

BC SPCA 2016 A common approach to wildlife control for animal welfare and protection organisations (PDF). Developed from discussions at the Expert Forum on Humane Wildlife Control Standards held at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada on July 27 and 28, 2015: Vancouver, Canada.

Dubois S 2016 Managing wildlife issues: Compassionate Conservation practices can make it easier for humans and wild animals to live together (PDF). In: Gardner SM (ed) Municipal World pp 5-7. Municipal World Inc: Ontario, Canada.

Dubois S and Harshaw H 2013 Exploring “humane” dimensions of wildlife (PDF). Human Dimensions of Wildlife 18: 1-19.

Dubois S and Fraser D 2013 Local attitudes towards bear management after illegal feeding and problem bear activity (PDF). Animals 3: 935-950.

Dubois S and Fraser D 2013 Rating harms to wildlife: a survey showing convergence between conservation and animal welfare view (PDF). Animal Welfare 22: 49-55.

Dubois S and Fraser D 2013 A framework to evaluate wildlife feeding in research, wildlife management, tourism and recreation (PDF). Animals 3: 978-994.

Dubois S and Fraser D 2003 Conversations with stakeholders – 2: Contentious issues in wildlife rehabilitation (PDF). Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation 26: 8-14.

Dubois S and Fraser D 2003 Conversations with stakeholders – 1: Goals, impediments, and relationships in wildlife rehabilitation (PDF). Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation 26: 14-22.

Dubois S and Fraser D 2003 Defining and measuring success in wildlife rehabilitation (PDF) Wildlife Rehabilitation 21: 123-132.

Photo by Grayson Pettigrew

Farm animal research

Duncan I, Ramsay C and Urton G 2009 The scientific case against foie gras (PDF) BC SPCA: Vancouver, Canada.

Urton GDG 2005 Feeding behaviour identifies dairy cows at risk for metritis (PDF). M.Sc. Thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Photo by Matthias Zomer

Animals in Science Research

Ormandy EH 2015 Alternatives to Animals in UBC Undergraduate Teaching: Project Report. Vancouver, Canada.

White lab rat with pill