Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Finale: Petition

To wrap up our project, we created a petition online against pet stores that sell puppies. From our research of information on the web and participation by people in the elements we created, we found a common theme against stores. Pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills, which poorly mistreat the dogs and over-breed them to make a profit. The puppies in stores are often displayed in glass cages, and are not cared for as well as they are in animal shelters. The reason this petition specifically targets pet stores that sell dogs is because many animals in pet stores, such as small rodents and birds, are difficult to obtain from other places. If we were to petition against stores that sold those animals, we would potentially be petitioning against ownership of those animals altogether. If you followed us along the way, have read through the blog or just simply do not want to see pet stores sell puppies, sign our petition! It only takes a few seconds, thanks!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 10th Twitter Chat Storified

Here is our element this week! We made several storifies of the twitter chat that we held last week under the hashtag #nifkin. We picked out a few topics that had the most responses and here are the storifies to them! Be sure to give them a like if you enjoyed!

Participants' pets'

Puppy Mills

Peoples' dogs' health

The last question of the chat: Which is better, pet store or animal shelter

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Twitter Chat Tonight!

Be sure to participate in our twitter chat tonight! It's today, April 10th, at 9 PM EST on twitter under #nifkin and ends at 10 PM. We will be discussing pet stores against animal shelters, be sure to chip in and give us your thoughts! And don't forget the #nifkin so others can see what you say!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Jeopardy game!

Check out our Jeopardy game. Pick how many teams you want and then start answering questions! You don't have to type in your answer just verbally say it to whoever your playing with or yourself if your alone. When you click on correct response the answer will show up and you can reward yourself with points with the plus sign by the team names. Then click continue and keep answering questions! Comment on our blog or Facebook page telling us how many points you got, or you could even tweet us! We look forward to hearing how you guys do!

Here's the link to the game.

Here are the sources we used for our questions.

Facebook Page

In addition to this blog, we also have created a facebook page for our project. Come check out Pets Are Us, show a picture of your pets and tell us where they're from!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Survey Answers!

Here are the answers to the survey! The link below will take you to a googledoc that displays the answers.

Thanks to all of those who participated!

Don't forget to read the analysis below for information on the results as a whole.

If you have questions or comments you can email them to me at smckenney11@gmail.com.

Survey Results Analysis

After analyzing the results of the survey, here is what was found:

In total, 26 people took the survey within the span of 3 days.

The average score of the survey was 70%. The lowest score was a 45% and the highest score was 85% by 2 people.

The only question that had a 100% perfect score was question 4, which was the picture of a dog being walked. Every person answered shelter for this picture, which was the correct answer. The fact that it was being walked was the reason for choosing shelter for 70% of the people who did give a reason (did not "guess"). For this particular question, the age and size of the dog (older and larger) were the reasons for 15% of those who gave a reason.

The next closest question to having a perfect score was question 19, which was the picture of the small dogs being displayed in an all-glass cage. Only 1 person picked the wrong answer, shelter, for this picture, but the reason they gave for this choice was "guess". This leads me to believe they were just picking random answers to get the survey over with quickly. The fact that the dogs were being displayed in a glass cage in the window was the main reason that people gave for choosing store.

The lowest scoring question in the survey was question 18, which was the picture of the 3 different dogs in the same caged pen. Only 4 people (15%) chose the right answer for this question, which was store. Most people cited "guess" as their reason for their choice, but this was the lowest scoring question of the survey.

The next lowest scoring question was question 14, which was the picture of the doggy play room with multiple, different dogs inside. 20 of the 26 respondents chose shelter for this picture, which was wrong. Many people did not realize that stores do indeed have these kinds of rooms for dogs. This picture is of a PetCo playroom, where dog owners can leave their dogs in a sort of "doggy daycare" while they go to work or do other things. Many of the stores we visited also have other services for dogs, such as grooming, veterinarian care and dog hotels. The only people who got this question correct had either seen something like this in a store before (2 people), or they guessed (4 people).

It was found that glass was a key giveaway to many people that the animal was located in a store. 100% of the people who gave "glass" or "window" as a reason for their choice attributed it to a store. A small cage was also a giveaway to people who gave store as a reason. Over 90% of the time people gave "small cage/enclosure" as a reason, they attributed it to a store. Thus it seems that stores are assumed to have small glass enclosures for their animals.

Cleanliness of the cage was also used as a reason for some peoples' choice. 85% of the people who gave the reason of "clean cage" chose shelter as their answer. This was an expected reason for people to choose shelter, which is why question 12 was asked. This was the question that presented the picture of the cage with feces covering the bottom. 92% of the survey takers got this right, choosing store as their answer. For people who chose store, they either guessed or said that the lack of cleanliness was their reason for choosing store. A large cage was another reason people chose shelter. Over 90% of the time people gave "large cage/enclosure" as a reason for their answer, they had chosen shelter. So it seems that people think that shelters maintain the cleanliness of their enclosures better than stores do and that shelters have bigger cages for their animals.

Age was yet another factor in the way people answered, but this was only a reason given for pictures with cats or dogs. Every single person who said that they decided based on the fact that the dog or cat was "old" or "large" chose shelter as their answer. People who said their reason for their choice was because the dog or cat was "young" or "small" (AKA puppy or kitten) always gave store as their answer. Thus, it seems that older, larger animals are not associated with stores, and that stores only seem to carry young dogs and cats.

Most of the questions presented a picture of a cat, dog or no animal. However, 4 of the questions displayed pictures of animals that were not dogs or cats. There was 1 picture of a rabbit, 2 pictures of birds and 1 picture of mice. These questions all scored over 70% right and 3 of the 4 scored over 85% correct. All of these animals were from stores, and so it seems that people associate shelters with mostly dogs and cats. While this was this case in this particular survey, it is important to realize that shelters take in more than just cats and dogs. Other animals are also cared for at shelters; stores do not have a complete monopoly over the distribution of these types of animals.

The last question I wanted to address in my analysis was question 7. This question was the picture of the puppy that was in a crate, and the crate had the PetCo symbol on the front. This picture was deliberately displayed this way to trick people into choosing the wrong answer. More than half of the survey takers chose store for this question, which was wrong. Around 75% of people said the reasoning for choosing "store" was the PetCo symbol, which many assumed was a dead giveaway. However, this puppy and cage are actually located at a shelter.

Something that people may not realize is that although some shelters may not support pet stores and may disagree with their approaches to animal treatment, these shelters may still purchase supplies such as food, toys and cages from these stores. Major pet stores such as PetCo and PetSmart may be able to offer better prices on these materials than local pet shops. Shelters may also want to save money by purchasing from these bigger stores. Although they may not be happy with supporting these stores, they may still rely on them for cheaper goods to supply the shelter.

One last thing that I noticed with this survey is that as the survey takers got toward the end of the survey, they stopped giving actual reasons as much as they had for the previous questions. The second half of the questions had nearly 60% more guesses as reasons than the first half of the questions did. On average, around 50% of all reasons given across all questions and all respondents were attributed to guessing (or no reason at all, which was counted as a guess).

The reason for this, I realize, is that the survey was lengthy, like this analysis, and I apologize to those who were annoyed with the length of the survey. But I will end my analysis here.

Thank you to all of those who took our survey, it was very helpful. Thank you to all those who continually gave reasons for your answers as well, even if the reason was just "guess".  Another thanks to all those who read over this analysis; it was long I know but I appreciate your attention. Be sure to keep a look out for the next element of our project that is coming up! It should be out sometime on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I will be posting the actual answers to all the questions shortly after this, so be sure to look at those too.

If you have any questions or comments about the analysis, you can email them to me at smckenney11@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Picture Survey

For the second element of our project, we created a picture survey. The survey simply presents a picture of an animal and asks you to decide if the picture was taken of something in a pet store or animal shelter. Think you can tell which animals come from what place? Try it out! All the pictures in the survey are photos taken by Hillary Coates, Jenny Frank or myself (Seamus McKenney). Here's the link to the survey.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Fourth Introductory Video

The fourth and final video discusses "what pet stores don't want you to know." The video comes from the Wall Street Journal, or WSJ, and shows an interview of Kelli Grant, who is the consumer fairs reporter of WSJ's Lunch Break. She is currently the MarketWatch senior consumer reporter, and her material is commonly featured in the Wall Street Journal. This video discusses five of her ten things that "pet stores don't want you to know."

The video is on the Wall Street Journal's site.

Third Introductory Video

This third video sheds some light on the operations of puppy mills. Many pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills. These places breed dogs over and over again just to make puppies. The dogs are not cared for and are extremely mistreated. They lead terrible lives and do not get much attention while locked up in the mills. This video shows some of the dogs, which appear to be extremely terrified and depressed. This video comes from the website oscarslaw.org, which is a website dedicated against puppy factories. They are against the inhumane treatment of puppy factory dogs and are campaigning to outlaw puppy mills.

Second Introductory Video

This is the second video used for the first element of our project. In the video, a man visiting a PETCO notices something wrong with one of the snakes on display. He calls over an employee to get some answers to some questions, and keeps his recording going so that viewers can here what the employee had to say.

First Introductory Video

Here's the first of a few video clips that we used to introduce our project. The goal of these videos was to get people interested in what we are doing. This particular video shows footage from one of PETCO and PetSmart's animal suppliers, Sun Pet Ltd. A PETA investigator went undercover into the supplier as a new employee, and recorded what goes on behind the scenes at Sun Pet. This video comes from PETA's blog, The PETA Files, and the organization is dedicated to fighting for animal rights.