October 19, 2007

Dangerous and Disruptive Pets Survey

Here is a brief summary of a survery conducted by Ipsos Canada. The summary was also produced by Ipsos, so the "interesting tidbits" listed for each city have been selected by the editors of the news release and, as such, may not actually be the most revealing statistics.

I'm hoping to get the full report and I certainly will be making more comments on this document in the near future.

Attention News Editors:

'Dangerous dogs are a product of poor upbringing, not genes,' says 86 per cent of Canadian Ipsos respondents

Dangerous and Disruptive Pets Survey released by Ipsos Canada at Summit for Urban Animal Strategies

CALGARY, Oct. 18 /CNW/ - Most community members polled from across the country believe that an animal's upbringing plays a bigger role than breed and size when determining dangerous behaviour. With that being the case, it is not surprising that pet owners were named as the primarily responsible party for managing disruptive pets, with local humane societies coming in second and the municipal government being named as third. These were just some of the findings of the 2007 Urban Animal Survey, released today by Ipsos Canada at the Banff Summit for Urban Animal Strategies.

The online survey asked questions about disruptive and dangerous pets to a nationally representative Canadian Household Panel, in eight communities throughout Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Although the questions focused on potentially harmful urban pets in general, an overwhelming majority (95 per cent) of Canadians who have felt threatened by pets named canines as the culprit. In fact, dogs also came out on top as the most common type of pet found to be disruptive (93 per cent of instances) - whether that be making excessive noise, or leaving feces on public or personal property.

Of the Canadians surveyed, 83 per cent have had their lifestyle disturbed by a pet. Be that as it may, over one-fifth (22 per cent) of our tolerant community members were not at all concerned about disruptive pets in the community.

"We discovered that although more than half of respondents felt that the existing legislation in their community was sufficient for managing disruptive pets, an even larger majority of constituents - seven in 10 - indicated knowing little or nothing about pet-related legislation," says David Webb, Senior Research Manager for Ipsos Canada. "Given these stats, there is clearly still work to be done on an education and awareness front."

When it came to dangerous pets, community members were concerned for their own safety, that of their family and that of others in the community in similar proportions (32 per cent, 39 per cent and 39 per cent respectively). Interestingly, 77 per cent of Canadians surveyed said that pet owners should be the responsible party for managing dangerous pets, but 70 per cent believed that the humane society or SPCA were the ones doing the job. Is there a perception that pet owners are shirking their responsibilities? Perhaps, since almost half of respondents (49 per cent) completely agree that how a dog is raised determines its behaviour - not genetics.

Despite this fact - there is still a consensus among community members (53 per cent) that people should be banned from having specific types of pets, and a similar percentage (51 per cent) are in favour of banning specific breeds of dogs from 'Leash Free Parks.' In fact, a particularly cautious 24 per cent of respondents want all dogs to wear muzzles in public places.

"In speaking with our session leaders and delegates, we discovered that the topic of disruptive and dangerous animals was one that stimulated a great deal of discussion and debate," says Larry Evans, Chair of the Banff Summit Organizing Committee. "With this in mind, we commissioned this survey by Ipsos Canada to find out how the community at large were affected by these types of animals in their everyday lives."
<< How do the Communities Compare?

Hamilton/Burlington, Ontario
  • Fifty-five per cent of people in Hamilton/Burlington, the highest of any community surveyed, do not believe that larger dogs are more likely to be dangerous than smaller dogs
  • Thirty per cent of those surveyed in this area agree with legislation requiring all dogs to undergo a behaviour assessment before entering the communit
  • Consistent with the average for all respondents in this survey, 37 per cent of people in Hamilton/Burlington would like legislation governing dangerous pets to be 'completely proactive'
St. Catharines, Ontario
  • Ninety-two per cent of people from St. Catharines (six per cent higher than the overall average) believe that how a dog is raised plays a bigger role in determining dangerous behaviour than the dog's breed and size
  • Caution wins out - St. Catharines is home to the highest percentage of those in favour of banning 'Leash Free Parks' for dogs (22 per cent)
  • One in two respondents support legislation requiring specific breeds of dogs to wear muzzles when in public places
  • Twelve per cent of respondents are 'very concerned' about disruptive pets in the community (highest of all participating communities)
London, Ontario
  • Londoners enjoy a well-heeled companion - 30 per cent support legislation requiring all dogs to undergo professional dog training (highest of all participating communities)
  • When asked how prevalent dangerous pets are in the community, over one-quarter answered 'very or somewhat' prevalent
  • People in London felt the most threatened of all communities surveyed by an animal that approached aggressively, at 73 per cent
  • Londoners make friendly neighbours - almost half of respondents (47 per cent) were concerned for the safety of other community members due to dangerous pets, and 46 per cent were concerned for their own families
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Sixty per cent of people in Saskatoon do not agree with legislation requiring all pets to undergo a behaviour assessment before entering the communit
  • Half of respondents disagree with legislation that bans pet owners from having specific types of dogs (only 17 per cent 'completely agree' with this legislation)
  • Residents of Saskatoon like their dogs to run free - 72 per cent are not supportive of legislation that would ban 'Leash Free Parks'
  • Sixty-two per cent of Saskatoon respondents, the highest of all communities surveyed, think police officers are responsible for managing dangerous pets in their community (but 80 per cent think it should be pet owners)
St. Albert, Alberta
  • Residents of St. Albert appear to be more knowledgeable about pet legislation than other survey respondents; 43 per cent claim to know 'some or a lot' - the highest of any communit
  • An overwhelming majority (90 per cent) also agree with legislation requiring all dog owners to register their dogs with the municipalit
  • Watch out for animals in St. Albert - 20 per cent of those who had felt personally threatened by a dangerous pet said the dog was biting (highest of any community) - as opposed to barking or growling
Calgary, Alberta
  • When Calgarians were asked how concerned they were about disruptive pets in the community, over one-quarter (26 per cent) said they were 'not at all concerned'
  • The people of Calgary would like the government to stay out of it - 20 per cent of respondents believe that disruptive pets are a private matter
  • Eighty-two per cent of Calgarians (highest of all communities) have not felt personally threatened by a dangerous pet in the community
Vancouver, British Columbia
  • People in Vancouver are divided on whether or not size matters - one in two disagree that larger dogs are more likely to be dangerous than smaller breeds
  • Vancouverites are the least knowledgeable about pet legislation when compared to their fellow survey respondents - 75 per cent claim to know 'little or nothing'
  • The same percentage (75 per cent) believe that the Humane Society/SPCA are responsible for managing dangerous pets in the community - but when asked who should be managing dangerous pets, 'pet owners' were named by 73 per cent of respondents
  • Respondents are concerned about their furry friends - 33 per cent were concerned for the safety of their own pets, due to other dangerous animals in the community
Capital Regional District of British Columbia
  • Only two per cent of Victorians feel they know a lot about pet legislation in their community - the lowest of all communities in the surve
  • One-third of Victorians (33 per cent) - the highest of all communities surveyed - have felt a dangerous animal has posed a personal threat to them, their family or their pets
  • Of those feeling threatened, 98 per cent named dogs as the aggressor
About Ipsos Canada

Ipsos-Reid is Canada's leading marketing research and public affairs company in Canada, both in terms of size and reputation. It operates in seven cities and employs more than 300 researchers and support staff in Canada. It has the biggest network of telephone call centres, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels in Canada. Its Canadian marketing research and public affairs practices are staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds offering the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, including the Ipsos Trend Report, the leading source of public opinion in the country. Ipsos-Reid is a member of the Ipsos Group, the second largest survey-based marketing research company in the world.

For copies of other news releases, please visit:

About the Banff Summit for Urban Animal Strategies

The Banff Summit for Urban Animal Strategies (BSUAS) is a specialized conference of thought leaders from across North America who come together to consider strategies for improving animal care in the community. Delegates who are known for their contributions to Animal Control, Animal Welfare, Animal Wellness and Community Collaboration are invited by the event's selection committee. This year's Summit, which was held at the Banff Centre from Tuesday, October 16 to Thursday, October 18, focused on the theme of "Disruptive and Dangerous Animals in Our Communities."

Further information regarding the BSUAS can be found at www.bsuas.com.

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted from September 7 to 21, 2007, of panelists living in the participating communities. A sample from the Canadian Household Panel was sent an e-mail invitation asking them to participate in the study. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within +/- 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population been polled. For individual communities, the margin of error would range from +/- 5.4 to +/- 7.6 per cent. The Canadian Household Panel is continually monitored and balanced against Statistics Canada demographics including gender, age and income to ensure it is representative of Canadian communities.

For further information:

For media inquiries, contact Charlene Lo, Optimum Public Relations - (416) 436-8651, charlene.lo@cossette.com or David Webb, Ipsos Canada - (519) 780-4704, David.Webb@Ipsos-Reid.com

Original link:

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