Exploring Public Perceptions of the Guelph Humane Society Facilities as a Centre for Human-Animal and Community Interaction

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Chow, Anna
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University of Guelph

While humane shelters are multi-functional centres for animal-human activities, many are not designed to capitalize on community engagement, education and interaction. This research gathered public opinion about the Guelph Humane Society (GHS) and features that would enhance not only animal welfare but also community engagement and activities. An online survey was conducted to gather information on community members’ perceptions and opinions regarding the GHS. Results indicated that the respondents preferred features that aided in human-animal interaction, as well as those that would provide comfort to the animals and enhance shelter programming. The findings from this survey highlighted outdoor play spaces, walking trails, and shelter from weather as preferred features. For indoor space, natural light, auditory quality (noise protection or calming music), and indoor play spaces were rated highly. These results will help inform the design of future GHS facilities, and better enable it to become a centre in the community.

animal shelter design, community, human-animal bond, animal enrichment, public engagement, electronic survey