Historic orchards and stands of sugar maple line this part of the course.
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The course then transitions to steeper class 4 roads and trails on Mount Aeolus after a beautiful 5k singletrack section through old pine plantations above Emerald Lake. All distances are a single loop-type format, and will end back in town where they started. This is NOT a flat race! The half marathon has approximately 2,' of climbing and the 50k has approximately 4,'. Due to the land ownership considerations, there will not be a course map available before the race.
The course will be very well-marked. There is ample shoulder and good visibility, however it is the runner's responsibility to ensure they are safe on the road. This includes bright or reflective clothing, etc. The questionnaire was pilot tested by several UQ and MPP colleagues for clarity one month before launching, and it was subsequently modified. Responses were accepted from anywhere in the world. Outcomes were allocated to cats based on an algorithm that used responses to four study questions Table 1. Times from going missing to being found were as provided by respondents; for cats not found, time intervals were right-censored at the time the respondent completed the questionnaire using their reported time since the cat went missing.
Cats whose times were not provided were excluded from analyses of time to being found alive i. Cats whose times ended on the same day as they went missing were allocated a time of 0. These cumulative incidences described the probability that an individual cat would be found alive by time since the cat went missing.
Ninety-five percent point-wise confidence intervals were calculated using formula 4 described by Choudhury [ 12 ].
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These used the method of Fine and Gray [ 13 ] and modeled the sub-hazard of being found alive, calculated such that cats that experienced the competing risk i. If the sub-hazard ratio is above 1 for cats exposed to a factor relative to non-exposed cats, the sub-hazard and the cumulative incidence are higher in exposed cats.
For Kruskal-Wallis tests, chi-squared statistic adjusted for ties were used. Distributions of study cats were expressed as percentages of cats whose status for the attribute was recorded or could be deduced from the provided data. For questions where the respondent could choose one or more options, cats were only included when calculating percentages if at least one option was selected.
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In total, cats were recruited from 10 June to 17 August Half had gone missing 2 years or less prior to the date when the respondent completed the questionnaire 5th and 95th percentiles 4 days and 14 years, respectively. Percentages of the cats where at least one option was selected but multiple inconsistent options i. Other forms of identification used were, in decreasing order of frequency, collars with an ID tag, identification tattoo, and collar with a tracking device Table 2. Numbers are expressed as percentages of those that responded.
Of the cats, the outcome could be determined for Table 1 , and for of these cats, time from going missing to being found or, for cats not found, time to right-censoring i. Probabilities of an individual cat being found alive were calculated using these cats. Probabilities of an individual cat being found alive i. There was little increase in probability of being found alive after day Being found dead was treated as a competing risk. Of these cats, were found alive, and the median time they remained lost was 6 days 25th and 75th percentiles 2 and 21 days, respectively.
Of the 17 cats that were found dead, the median time they remained lost was 21 days 25th and 75th percentiles 6 and 91 days, respectively. For the cats not found at the time the questionnaire was completed, the median time they had been lost for was days 25th and 75th percentiles 35 and days, respectively. To assess what methods were used to find each cat, respondents were offered five possible search methods—physically did a search, advertised, contacted a facility or sought professional help, used a trapping technique, and identification device.
Respondents could select one or more of these, or they could indicate that they just waited for the cat to return. Of the cats whose time from going missing was provided, for , the respondent indicated what was done to find the cat. Of respondents that used each method, the percentage who nominated that method as one that helped the most are also shown. Results are reported for cats whose outcome could be determined and whose time from becoming lost to being found or, for cats not found, time since the cat went missing, was provided, and where the respondent indicated what was done to find the cat.
Respondents could select more than one of these options; 8 A trained search dog cat detection or scent tracking was not used for any cat; 9 Identification at the time the cat went missing; collar with no tag was not considered identification; 1 0 The cat that had a collar with a GPS-tracking device was found dead; 11 No cat had a collar with a radio-tracking device. Outcomes are reported by search method in Table 5.
For cats with an identification device microchip, ID tag etc.
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These associations between the various search methods and being found alive are univariable and did not account for time since the cat went missing when the search method was implemented. Of the cats found alive, the distance from where the cat went missing to where it was found was recorded for cats. For the remaining cats found alive, the median distance was 50 m 25th and 75th percentiles 9 and m, respectively Figure 2 with the maximum distance being 25 km. The median distance for indoor-outdoor cats was m 25th and 75th percentiles 14 and m i. Specific locations are also shown in Table 6.
Circumstances in which missing cats were found for the cats that were found alive. The outcomes of the present study provide valuable information on successful search methods to recover missing cats, likely locations where they are found, distances travelled and ways in which cats go missing. It also provides information on the likely locations where missing cats could be found based on their personalities and outdoor experience.
An important finding was that most cats were found near their point of escape, with half being found within 50 m and three quarters within m. In the current study, indoor-only cats tended to be found nearer to their escape point compared with indoor-outdoor and outdoor-only cats, highlighting the importance of tailoring the distance radius of a physical search to the outdoor experience of the cat. Therefore, a search in a m radius is more likely to suffice in a search for a missing indoor-only cat, but a search for an outdoor or indoor-outdoor cat is more likely to have to be extended up to 2 km radius or more.
Cats most commonly escaped into areas that had 7 or more places to hide in, such as nearby shrubbery, under motor vehicles, decks, porches, or in sheds.
Most cats when found outside were hiding under porches, cars or under objects near the house where they resided. The finding that owned cats are often found not far from where they go missing provides evidence to support shelter-neuter and return SNR strategies, also known as return to field and cat diversion.
This is a process whereby stray cats that are likely to be euthanized in shelters or animal control facilities are temporarily sheltered, then neutered and returned to the original location they were found as an alternative to euthanasia [ 14 ]. The rationale for this is that lost owned, semi-owned and community cats who are cared for by people [ 4 , 15 , 16 ], do not travel far from the location where they are fed.
Our results also support returning unidentified owned, semi-owned and community cats to their home territory as an alternative to euthanasia.
Shelter-neuter and return strategies markedly reduce euthanasia in facilities with large intakes of stray cats, and are also reported to reduce intake of stray cats [ 14 ]. Of the cats found alive, almost all were recovered within the first 2 months, with approximately half recovered within the first 7 days. This was probably largely because cats that were in situations making them easier to find were, accordingly, found more quickly.
However, it may also have been partly because finding cats soon after they go missing prevents such cats from being harmed or subsequently becoming irretrievably lost if not found quickly. Physical searching, advertising, and contacting a facility or seeking professional assistance were the 3 most common search methods used. Physical searching was used most commonly, and there was some evidence that the probability of recovering a missing cat alive is increased if this method is conducted.
Cats were less likely to be found alive if any type of advertising were used, or if the owner contacted a facility or sought professional help. As these strategies are unlikely to reduce the probability of missing cats being found alive, these observed associations were probably due to selective implementation of these strategies more commonly when lost cats had not been found for some time, and thus already had reduced chances of being found alive. As our study was retrospective, it was not possible to collect the chronology of search strategies.
These data may be collectable in prospective studies. If available, confounding for this reason should be reduced if effects of various search strategies were assessed using survival analysis with search strategies fitted as time-varying covariates. In addition, for many lost cats, multiple search strategies are used, and multivariable models would be useful when assessing the effect of particular search strategies.
Fifty seven percent of cats were recovered alive if pet detective or volunteer lost pet recovery service was used. This probably reflects the ability of these services to provide appropriate advice and use efficient methods for the recovery of the missing cat, such as conducting a thorough physical search, distributing flyers and using a humane trap.