Sara Owczarczak-Garstecka:
When science has gone to the dogs: Mixed-methods approaches to studying dog welfare and human-dog interactions

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There are nearly 10 million dogs in the UK and despite increase in owner's spending, at the population level, their welfare is often poor and declining. This talk will explore the main welfare issues concerning the UK dog population and discuss current and ongoing research aimed at uncovering some of these problems in depth. Particular attention will be place on showcasing how qualitative (e.g. sociological) and quantitative (e.g. statistical) analysis can be used to explore issues related to dog welfare by discussing current and ongoing studies.

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Sara studied Anthropology at UCL and received and MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour from the University of Lincoln before starting on an MRes/ PhD at the Risk Institute/ Institute for Infection and Global Health at Liverpool. In her PhD, she used mixed methods to explore perception and prevention of dog bites. Since completing her PhD, Sara was awarded Animal Welfare Foundation grant which enabled her to carry out post-doctoral study into access to veterinary healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sara works as a part of Dogs Trust research team.