How to Say "Spay": A BC SPCA/UBC Research Project on Optimizing Cat Spay/Neuter Campaign Messaging

SUNDAY, APRIL 9, 1:00-2:30PM 

SPEAKER: Cluny South, University of British Columbia / BCSPCA, PhD Student, Consumer Behaviour Consultant and Research Investigator

In 2016, the British Columbia SPCA and the University of British Columbia undertook a joint research project across two communities in rural BC. The twin aims of the project were to deepen understanding of community attitudes towards cat overpopulation issues, and to improve community engagement in cat spay neuter initiatives in these regions, through the use of consumer psychology.

The presenter will share the key findings of this BC SPCA/UBC joint research project, which was funded through a MITACS research grant, support from The Vancouver Foundation and support from the BC SPCA. With data analysis now complete, specific key results will be explained within the presentation and relevant conclusions and recommendations discussed. Ultimately a toolkit of strategies will be presented for optimizing community engagement and leveraging behaviour change in this challenging area.

Although this research was carried out in the specific context of a cat spay/neuter initiative in rural BC, the key findings are applicable for a wide range of species, as well as other humane welfare initiatives requiring community engagement across North America.

Three Key Learnings:
1. Understand the importance of correctly assessing a community’s key motivational concerns
2. Appreciate the role that consumer psychology can play in an animal welfare campaign context
3. Learn how to assemble a toolkit capable of optimizing community engagement and leveraging behaviour change

Cluny South is the lead investigator for this joint research project. She is currently completing an Interdisciplinary PhD in the areas of Conservation, Consumer Psychology and Marketing. Prior to moving to Canada, Cluny was a TV Program Producer at the BBC Natural History Unit. Cluny currently teaches in the Marketing Departments of SFU and UBC, as well as working as a freelance Marketing Researcher and Consumer Behaviour Consultant. Her personal research focus lies in Human-Animal Interaction and Pro-Social Marketing.