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More than half of Americans favor dogs over cats; many dream of owning a tiger, giraffe, or dinosaur

Published: Monday, June 24 2013 3:55 p.m. MDT

A new poll by Public Policy Polling found that more than half of voters, or 52 percent, prefer dogs to just 21 percent who choose cats.

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Are dogs better than cats? More than half of Americans polled believe so.

A new poll by Public Policy Polling found that more than half of voters, or 52 percent, prefer dogs to just 21 percent who choose cats as their favorite animal. The PPP surveyed 603 registered voters from June 11-13, asking them a series of animal-related questions through automated telephone interviews.

The questions ranged from which exotic animal they would want to own to whether cat owners are weirder than dog owners. Twenty-six percent chose a tiger as their choice for exotic pet, followed by a giraffe at 20 percent and a dinosaur at 16 percent. Out of the six options, alligators came in last place with only six percent of Americans wanting them as a pet. Twenty-one percent of Americans said snakes were the scariest animals, followed by alligators at 19 percent.

Twenty-three percent thought cat owners were weirder than dog owners, 35 percent disagreed and 42 percent were not sure who was weirder.

Overall, most Americans are pet-friendly with 6 in 10 owning a pet and almost half (46 percent) saying they spend between 1-5 hours a week taking care of their pet. One in five people prefer to spend time with their pets over spending time with humans.

Aside from animals, PPP asked responders whether they had favorable or unfavorable feelings towards two organizations aimed towards the wellbeing of animals. The poll found 70 percent of Americans had favorable opinions of the Humane Society while the response for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was more diverse; only 36 percent had favorable opinions of PETA and 39 percent had an unfavorable opinion toward the group.

The survey also included fictional and mythical animals. When asked which movie animal they favored, Americans stuck with the classics. Bambi received 23 percent of the vote while 19 percent picked Lassie as their favorite movie animal.

The PPP included a question about whether the Loch Ness monster exists. Sixty-four percent of Americans polled believed the Loch Ness monster was not real, compared to the 18 percent that said it was real and the 18 percent who were uncertain of its existence.

Email: crenouard@deseretnews.com

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