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Table 1 Summary of the 26 items of literature reviewed that reported a change in one or more impacts following a dog population management intervention

From: Scoping review of indicators and methods of measurement used to evaluate the impact of dog population management interventions

Impact assessed Indicator(s) used Change in indicator following intervention? Method of measurement Study design type Intervention type (limited to dog-related activities) Country (city or region if applicable), Continent Publication type Reference
1. Improve dog welfare Body condition score No Repeated clinical exam of cohort of dogs Quasi-experimental; prospective cohort Rabies vaccination Tanzania, Africa Peer-reviewed publication [17]
1. Improve dog welfare Body condition score Yes Clinical exam of dogs whilst in intervention clinic or during handling for vaccination (control group) Observational; retrospective cross-sectional Neutering, vaccination and return of roaming dogs India (Rajasthan), Asia Peer-reviewed publication [15]
Presence of ticks/fleas Yes
Open wounds Yes
Antibodies to canine infectious diseases (serology) Yes
1. Improve dog welfare Body condition score Yes Street surveys of roaming dogs Quasi-experimental; Cross-sectional Neutering, vaccination and return of roaming dogs India (Jodhpur), Asia Peer-reviewed publication [16]
Skin condition Yes Clinical exam of dogs whilst in intervention clinic
Open wounds No
1. Improve dog welfare Dog-dog aggression No Video surveillance of roaming dogs Experimental; prospective cohort Castration of male dogs Chile (Puerto Natales), S America Peer-reviewed publication [22]
Dog-human aggression No
Interspecies aggression No
1. Improve dog welfare Body condition score Yes Clinical exam of dogs whilst in intervention clinic Observational, no control group; repeated cross-sectional Neutering, rehoming, basic vet care, euthanasia USA (Lakota Reservation), N America Conference presentation [14]
Skin condition Yes
2. Improve care provide to dogs Proportion of dogs brought to clinic, as opposed to needing to be caught Yes Interview of local grocery stores
Dog food purchases Yes
1. Improve dog welfare Body condition score Yes Street surveys of roaming dogs Quasi-experimental; repeated cross-sectional Neutering, rabies vaccination, basic vet care, bite prevention education Sri Lanka (Colombo), Asia Conference presentation [13]
Skin condition Yes
3. Reduce dog density/stabilise turnover Number of dogs observed in sample of wards Yes
Percentage of lactating females Yes
3. Reduce dog density/stabilise turnover Number of dogs observed in ‘zones’ demarked by intervention Yes Mark (ear notch applied during intervention)-resight survey of roaming dogs Observational; repeated cross-sectional Neutering, vaccination and return of roaming dogs India (Jaipur), Asia Conference presentation [42]
3. Reduce dog density/stabilise turnover Number of dogs in sample areas Yes Mark (paint applied during survey)-resight survey of roaming dogs Quasi-experimental; Cross-sectional Neutering, vaccination and return of roaming dogs India (Jodhpur), Asia Peer-reviewed publication [43]
3. Reduce dog density/stabilise turnover Number of dogs per square mile of sampled areas No Mark (individual dogs identified and recorded using photographs)-resight survey of roaming dogs, also known as photo capture-recapture Observational, no control group; repeated cross-sectional Roaming dogs removed by Animal Control and housed for returning, rehoming or euthanasia in a local government pound USA (Baltimore), N America Book [48]
3. Reduce dog density/stabilise turnover Percentage of lactating females and puppies Yes Street surveys of roaming dogs Observational; repeated cross-sectional Neutering, vaccination and return of roaming dogs Nepal, Asia Conference presentation [51]
Rabies vaccination
Male:female No
3. Reduce dog density/stabilise turnover Percentage of households experiencing dog mortality in past 12 months Yes Questionnaire of dog owners Observational; cross-sectional Neutering, vaccination and basic health care for owned and roaming dogs Thailand (Kho Tao), Asia Report [27]
Percentage of owned dogs adopted Yes
3. Reduce dog density/stabilise turnover Number of dogs observed on 6 standard routes Yes Street surveys of roaming dogs Observational; repeated cross-sectional Neutering, vaccination and return of roaming dogs India (Jaipur), Asia Peer-reviewed publication [41]
4. Reduce risks to public health Human rabies cases Yes Data collected from local hospital Quasi-experimental; cross-sectional
4. Reduce risks to public health Reported dog bites from local hospital Yes Accessed publically available hospital reports Observational; repeated cross-sectional Neutering, vaccination and return of roaming dogs India (Jaipur), Asia Peer-reviewed publication [57]
4. Reduce risks to public health Human bite injuries from suspect rabid dogs Yes Animal-bite injury data collected from Government District Hospitals Experimental; repeated cross-sectional Rabies vaccination Tanzania, Africa Peer-reviewed publication [58]
4. Reduce risks to public health Dog rabies cases Yes Data collected from district Veterinary and Health authorities Observational; repeated cross-sectional Rabies vaccination Indonesia (Bali), Asia Peer-reviewed publication [60]
Dog bite injuries treated with PEP Yes
Human rabies cases Yes
4. Reduce risks to public health Human rabies cases Yes Data collected from Peruvian Ministry of Health Observational; repeated cross-sectional Rabies vaccination Peru (Lima), S America Peer-reviewed publication [65]
Dog rabies cases Yes
4. Reduce risks to public health Incidence of livestock with hydatid cysts Yes Surveillance of offal at slaughter houses Observational; repeated cross-sectional Dog deworming New Zealand, Australasia Report [68]
4. Reduce risks to public health Surgical incidence of cysts in humans Yes Quarterly reports from all hospitals Observational; repeated cross-sectional Dog deworming Australia (Tasmania), Australasia Peer-reviewed publication [69]
Incidence of hydatid cysts in sheep Yes Surveillance of offal at slaughter houses
Incidence of infected dogs Yes Presence of worms following purging of dogs
4. Reduce risks to public health Incidence of hydatid cysts in sheep Yes Surveillance of offal at slaughter houses Observational; repeated cross-sectional Dog deworming Falkland Islands, S America Peer-reviewed publication [70]
Incidence of infected dogs Yes ELISA test for serum antibodies and ELISA test for copro-antigens
4. Reduce risks to public health Incidence of human cases of leishmaniasis Yes Data collected from State Epidemiological Surveillance Centre Observational; repeated cross-sectional Dog culling Brazil (Aracatuba), S America Peer-reviewed publication [71]
4. Reduce risksto public health Incidence of human cases of leishmaniasis Yes Data collected from Zoonoses Control Centers (dog seropositive status tested by ELISA and confirmed by Indirect Immunofluorescency test) Observational; repeated cross-sectional Dog vaccination and culling Brazil (Aracatuba and Belo Horizonte), S America Peer-reviewed publication [73]
Incidence of leishmaniasis infection in dogs Yes
4. Reduce risks to public health Incidence of human infection with leishmaniasis Yes LST conversion and DAT of finger-prick blood samples from children Experimental, cluster randomized control trial; prospective cohort Deltamethrin-impregnated dog collars Iran (Kalaybar and Meshkin-Shahr), Middle East Peer-reviewed publication [74]
Incidence of leishmaniasis infection in dogs Yes DAT of dog serological samples
4. Reduce risks to public health Incidence of leishmaniasis infection in dogs Yes Antibody test - rK39 dipstick of serological samples Parasitology tests - Examination of lymph-node smears and PCR of dermal tissue Experimental parallel-group randomized control trial; prospective cohort Repellent and insecticidal (imidacloprid 10%/permethrin 50%) spot-on for dogs Italy, Europe Peer-reviewed publication [75]
4. Reduce risks to public health Dog rabies cases Yes Data collected from municipal vet authority Observational; repeated cross-sectional Neutering, rabies vaccination, basic vet care, bite prevention education Sri Lanka (Colombo), Asia Peer-reviewed publication [59]
Dog bite injuries treated with PEP Yes
5. Improve public perception Summative acceptance score Yes Data collected from bite centre in General Hospital
Number of dog-related problems Yes Attitude statements in questionnaire
  Participatory research with focus groups
6. Improve rehoming/adoption centre performance Intake rates Yes Monthly reporting of data from each of six rehoming/adoption centres Observational; prospective cohort study Mixed – each of 6 communities selected the most locally relevant intervention. Examples included high-volume spay/neuter services, adoption promotions, new fund-raising strategies and community engagement USA, N America Peer-reviewed publication [78]
Live release rates Yes
6. Improve rehoming/adoption centre performance Intake rates No Reporting of intake data from all rehoming/adoption centres involved in five Maddie’s Fund (donor) community programs Observational; retrospective cohort study Low cost neutering for owned dogs USA, N America Peer-reviewed publication [79]
  1. Definitions of terms used in ‘Study design’ column:
  2. Observational studies are usually those where no intervention was used. The studies included in this table are all related to assessing the impact of an intervention. However in some studies, measurements were taken from dogs prior to them being intervened upon, e.g. taking body condition scores as they arrive at the intervention clinic, to assess retrospectively if they have benefited from living in a location where an intervention has been used with other dogs; these studies are defined as observational because none of the dogs have directly undergone treatment at the time of observation
  3. Experimental studies are those where dogs that had experienced intervention were compared to those that had not (a control group) and where allocation to intervention or control was done randomly (includes randomised control trials). Randomisation can be done where each dog is randomly assigned to be part of the intervention or control; this is called parallel-group. Or where groups of dogs, such as those living in particular villages, are randomly assigned to the intervention or control; called cluster randomisation
  4. Quasi-experimental studies are those where dogs that had experienced intervention were compared to those that had not (a control group) but allocation to intervention or control was not done randomly, e.g. owners brought their dogs or catchers caught whichever dogs were accessible
  5. Repeated cross-sectional studies have observed a sample of dogs from the same population on two or more occasions, but it is not known if the same dogs appear in each sample, e.g. observing all the dogs visible along a survey route before the intervention started and again observing all dogs visible along the same route after the intervention has been running for a period of time, some of those dogs will be in both surveys, others will only be seen in one. This may also be termed a between-subject design
  6. Longitudinal studies observe the same individual dogs at two or more points over time, also termed within-subject design. When these include both dogs that have been part of an intervention, and those in a control group, it is termed a cohort study
  7. Retrospective studies (Latin derived prefix, “retro” meaning “back, behind”) look back at the history of a sample of dogs to see if differences between these dogs can be explained by what has happened to them in the past, usually comparing whether they have been part of an intervention or not
  8. Prospective studies (Greek derived prefix, “pro” meaning “before, in front of”) start with a sample of dogs and measures what happens to them over time to examine causal associations, when part of a cohort study this will involve some of the dogs being subject to the intervention and others being part of a control group