Document Type

Presentation (Class or campus)

Scholarship Type

Student Scholarship

Presentation Date


Event Name and Location of Presentation

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Student Poster Session

Instructor(s) or Advisor(s)

Mike Winiski


A data set from the Spartanburg Humane Society was provided with the hope that the use of GIS could show patterns and hotspots of dog and cat pickup locations. With a better understanding of where the majority of the animals come from, the Humane Society can better distribute their man power and resources to help as many homeless animals as possible. According to Beck (1973) the main reasons for stray and abandoned animals is negligence causing pet releases or escapes, and also breeding. Therefore, finding and targeting areas where there are many strays (potentially as a result of a release, escape, or breeding) is imperative to educating the people there on the importance of overall pet care and spaying or neutering their pets. Other reasons for animal pickups by the Humane Society are listed in the data set and include anything from “moving” to “destructive”. In this study I identified statistically significant hotspots of cat and dog surrenders and strays. The hotspot method was deemed an appropriate process through personal discretion and literature on cluster analysis with crime data. Using spatial relationships, hotspots can show where there is significantly higher animal location concentrations. Papers on crime data by Grubesic & Murray (2001) along with Ratcliffe & McCullagh (1999) discussed different methods for calculating these spatial relationships while taking into account the surrounding urban factors. Since population density is likely to be a contributing factor to the number of animals present in an area, population density was factored into the analysis or normalized to identify hotspots based on factors other than population. Hotspots were also calculated without normalizing for population in order to give the Spartanburg Humane Society a good idea about where most of their animals are coming from despite the number of people there. This will assist in determining the best areas for resource distribution.

Additional Affiliated Department, Center or Institute

Center for Teaching and Learning



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