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Mensching D.A.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Slater M.,Shelter Research and Development | Scott J.W.,Illinois Institute of Technology | Ferguson D.C.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Beasley V.R.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues | Year: 2012

The role of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) was investigated in the occurrence of feline hyperthyroidism (FH) by evaluating 15 PBDE congeners in serum from 62 client-owned (21 euthyroid, 41 hyperthyroid) and 10 feral cats. Total serum PBDE concentrations in euthyroid cats were not significantly different from those of hyperthyroid cats. Total serum PBDE in feral cats were significantly lower than in either of the groups of client-owned cats. Total serum PBDE did not correlate with serum total T4 concentration. Ten samples of commercial canned cat food and 19 dust samples from homes of client-owned cats were analyzed. Total PBDE in canned cat food ranged from 0.42 to 3.1 ng/g, and total PBDE in dust from 510 to 95,000 ng/g. Total PBDE in dust from homes of euthyroid cats ranged from 510 to 4900 ng/g. In dust from homes of hyperthyroid cats, total PBDE concentrations were significantly higher, ranging from 1100 to 95,000 ng/g. Dust PBDE and serum total T4 concentration were also significantly correlated. Estimates of PBDE exposures calculated from canned cat food and dust data suggest that domestic cats are primarily exposed through ingestion of household dust. These findings indicate further study of the role of PBDE is needed in the development of FH, which might identify the cat as a model and sentinel for humans with toxic nodular goiter (TNG). © Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC 2012.

Slater M.R.,United Road Services | Miller K.A.,National Programs | Weiss E.,Shelter Research and Development | Makolinski K.V.,Animal Health Services | Weisbrot L.A.M.,York College - The City University of New York
Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery | Year: 2010

Despite the lack of validated methods for differentiating feral from frightened socialized cats upon intake to animal welfare agencies, these organizations must make handling and disposition decisions for millions of cats each year based on their presumed socialization status. We conducted a nationwide survey of feline welfare stakeholders to learn about methods used to evaluate and categorize incoming cats, amount of time cats are held before assessment, disposition options available, and the level of cooperation among welfare agencies to minimize euthanasia of ferals. A wide variety of assessment methods were described and only 15% of 555 respondents had written guidelines. Holding periods of 1-3 days were common, and cats deemed feral were often euthanased. About half the shelters transferred ferals to trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs at least occasionally. Results highlight the need for validated assessment methods to facilitate judicious holding and disposition decisions for unowned cats at time of intake. © 2010 ISFM and AAFP.

Miller P.S.,Apple Inc | Boone J.D.,Great Basin | Briggs J.R.,Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs | Lawler D.F.,University of Illinois at Springfield | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Large populations of free-roaming cats (FRCs) generate ongoing concerns for welfare of both individual animals and populations, for human public health, for viability of native wildlife populations, and for local ecological damage. Managing FRC populations is a complex task, without universal agreement on best practices. Previous analyses that use simulation modeling tools to evaluate alternative management methods have focused on relative efficacy of removal (or trap-return, TR), typically involving euthanasia, and sterilization (or trap-neuter-return, TNR) in demographically isolated populations. We used a stochastic demographic simulation approach to evaluate removal, permanent sterilization, and two postulated methods of temporary contraception for FRC population management. Our models include demographic connectivity to neighboring untreated cat populations through natural dispersal in a metapopulation context across urban and rural landscapes, and also feature abandonment of owned animals. Within population type, a given implementation rate of the TR strategy results in the most rapid rate of population decline and (when populations are isolated) the highest probability of population elimination, followed in order of decreasing efficacy by equivalent rates of implementation of TNR and temporary contraception. Even low levels of demographic connectivity significantly reduce the effectiveness of any management intervention, and continued abandonment is similarly problematic. This is the first demographic simulation analysis to consider the use of temporary contraception and account for the realities of FRC dispersal and owned cat abandonment. ©2014 Miller et al.

Weiss E.,Shelter Research and Development | Patronek G.,Tufts University | Slater M.,Shelter Research and Development | Garrison L.,Shelter Research and Development | Medicus K.,Community Initiatives
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science | Year: 2013

Collaboration among all shelters and nonhuman animal welfare groups within a community along with the transparent, shared reporting of uniform data have been promoted as effective ways to increase the number of animals' lives saved. This article summarizes the shelter intakes, outcomes, and live release rate (LRR) from 6 geographically diverse communities participating in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Partnership program for 5 years (2007-2011). This program is both a grant program and a coaching program that works to focus the community partners on a data-driven goal using standardized definitions and metrics. There was improvement in LRR in all communities over time regardless of intake numbers, human population, or mix of dogs/puppies and cats/kittens entering shelters. Averaged across all communities over the 5-year period, there was an overall improvement in LRR of 62%. Within individual communities, the degree of improvement ranged from 18% to 96%. This improvement in LRR was accomplished through a wide variety of programs in each community based on resources and interests during the time period. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

McGregor B.A.,Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center | McGregor B.A.,University of Washington | Dolan E.D.,Shelter Research and Development | Murphy K.M.,Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center | And 8 more authors.
Annals of Behavioral Medicine | Year: 2015

Background: Women at risk for breast cancer report elevated psychological distress, which has been adversely associated with cancer-relevant behaviors and biology. Purpose: The present study sought to examine the effects of a 10-week cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) group intervention on distress among women with a family history of breast cancer. Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to CBSM (N = 82) or a wait-list comparison group (N = 76). Baseline to postintervention effects of CBSM on depressive symptoms and perceived stress were examined using hierarchical regression. Results: CBSM participants reported significantly lower posttreatment depressive symptoms (β = −0.17, p < 0.05) and perceived stress (β = −0.23, p < 0.05) than wait-list comparison participants. Additionally, greater relaxation practice predicted lower distress. Conclusions: Group-based CBSM intervention is feasible and can reduce psychological distress among women with a family history of breast cancer. The present findings represent an encouraging avenue for the future application of CBSM. (Clinicaltrials.gov number NCT00121160) © 2015, The Society of Behavioral Medicine.

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