Each country receives an overall score between zero and 10 (where 10 = no pet homelessness exists) based on data collected across three focus areas. The Index currently includes nine countries – the U.S., U.K., India, Mexico, Germany, Russia, South Africa, China and Greece. More than just a measure of pet homelessness per country, the Index model was developed to account for country-specific context and challenges and helps identify key factors both positively and negatively impacting the issue.
The Index also reveals the most impactful underlying issues that have influenced the score in each country.
Data was collected based on three focus areas, which form a framework for understanding the key factors contributing to pet homelessness:
The data captured metrics that directly or indirectly, impact pet homelessness – such as the “number and rate of pet adoption per capita,” for example – as well as wider societal factors, such as gross domestic product (GDP). We consulted with an array of industry experts to identify which data points to include in the Index.
Using clustering algorithms, we then grouped countries to better understand the local nuances of the pet homelessness crisis, and the different solutions used to address it. This enabled us to group similar countries together, assigning weights to ensure they are compared fairly, taking into account these differences.
We then used unsupervised learning models to quantify patterns in the data and identify which of these metrics were most important and turned this into weights used to build the Index.
This modelling methodology can also be used in the future to gauge progress.
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