Ecological aspects of urban dog management: A simulation model Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this study is to represent quantitatively the essential ecological dynamics of the urban dog management system. A simulation model of this system has been developed in which urban dogs are classified as pets (18 age classes), unowned strays (7 age classes), or as individuals in the animal shelter. The dynamics of the model are determined by a set of difference equations solved iteratively on a digital computer. The behavior characteristics of the model have been examined by sensitivity analysis and the model has been used to evaluate the effect of eight potential management schemes on the dynamics of pet and stray populations. Only four of the schemes evaluated significantly decreased the stray population: (1) imposition of fines for abandoning animals, (2) encouragement of proper pet ownership through public education, (3) encouragement of pet neutering through the establishment of differential licensing fees and free neutering clinics, and (4) increased effort to impound strays. Two general characteristics of the urban dog system are indicated by simulation results: (1) the system is characterized by potentially exponential growth of both pet and stray populations, and (2) the stray population is dependent upon pet abandonment and immigration for continued survival. 1978.

published proceedings

  • Animal Regulation Studies

author list (cited authors)

  • Heussner, J. C., & Grant, W. E.

complete list of authors

  • Heussner, JC||Grant, WE

publication date

  • December 1978