Attitudes and Actions of Pet Caregivers in New Providence, The Bahamas, in the Context of Those of Their American Counterparts

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This paper reports the attitudes and actions of 614 Bahamian pet caregivers towards their pets, irrespective of the type of pet kept. The results are discussed in the context of an American study by Pamela Carlisle-Frank and Joshua Frank, published in 2006, which posed similar questions. While Bahamians appeared to interact less with their pets than Americans (e.g., 56.9% of Bahamians took pets on walks compared with 71.5% of Americans), they had some important attitudes towards animals in common with Americans, such as disapproving of declawing of cats (67.9% of Bahamians and 71.1% of Americans) and long-term chaining of dogs (83.0% of Bahamians and 84.9% of Americans), and the recognition of the need to help animals (85.0% of Bahamians and 90.5% of Americans). Some Bahamian respondents voluntarily suggested that white people and black people cared for animals differently. The results suggest that the differences between the two communities, in terms of actions and attitudes towards pets, may explain why some American visitors to The Bahamas think that Bahamians do not care for their pets. These differences are of potentially great economic importance, as most tourists visiting The Bahamas come from the US.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2008

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