Marie Carmen Abney


Marie Carmen Abney


Marie Carmen (MC) is a PhD student in the Michigan State Sociology Department, with specializations in Animal Studies and Global Urban Studies. She earned an MSc in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University in 2014 and a BA in Psychology and German (Zoology minor) from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2012. Her research is focused on cross-cultural perspectives of roaming dogs, with a secondary and more general interest in fostering communication between academia, animal welfare groups, and the general public to further animal welfare initiatives. These interests have been fostered through nearly a decade of working in the animal sheltering world—during and after college—as an intern, volunteer, and full-time employee.

For her dissertation work, MC will take her research to India, the first country to implement a national humane population management program for its roaming dogs, called the Animal Birth Control (ABC) program. She is already working with Humane Society International in India to analyze this ABC program, to measure its implementation and success rates in communities around India. In addition, MC will be moving to India sometime in 2018 to engage in ethnographic fieldwork analyzing the history of the humane dog population management program in India, to identify the political, social, religious, and cultural forces that have hindered and bolstered this program, and to assess the overall success of the program (both in terms of implementation and results), to gain an understanding of how India came to be the first country with a national humane management program and what lessons can be learned in the process of bringing these kinds of programs to other countries.  

Research Areas: Animal Studies, Global Urban Studies, Multispecies Ethnography, Urban Informality
Curriculum Vitae: Download