Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Unclaimed pets are filling up city animal shelter

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Community Animal Services is seeing a rising intake of unregistered lost pets at the Lethbridge Animal Shelter. Skylar Plourde is the city’s Director of Services, and says it puts a strain on the shelters capacity when owners cannot be located. This in turn means they cannot accept surrendered or adoptable animals when the spaces are full of lost pets waiting for their owners to locate them.

Residents are being asked to make sure pets are registered with the city to provide proof of ownership and updated contact information. This allows them to be returned to the appropriate owner when it comes into the care of the Lethbridge Animal Shelter.

“When pets are registered it allows us to locate an owner quickly and prove ownership which makes returning that pet significantly quicker,” says Plourde. “The quicker the return of the pet happens, that reduces the impact on the shelter operations and available space.” Registration costs range anywhere between $20-$50 per dog per year and a one-time fee of $10 for cats. In comparison to other Alberta cities, this cost is relatively low.

Information about registration and licensing in Lethbridge can be found here. The fees accumulated from registrations benefit local community programs such as spaying/neutering animals for adoptions, veterinarian care for shelter animals and provide funding for educational programs.

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Every dog over six months old is required to have a city registered license. In the event of an incident involving a dog who is not registered, a $150 fine could be issued to the owner.

Like many shelter operators across the province, Community Animal Services is also seeing a rise in the surrendering of pets as people return to work outside of their home. If you are searching for your lost cat or dog, please contact them at 403-320-4099.

A full list of animals available for adoption can be found on the Community Animal Services Adoptions page.

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