The City of Calgary’s Animal and Bylaw Services was declared the winner in the Animal Sheltering category of the 2009 Summit Awards.
The ‘Summits,’ which were held October 15 in Lake Louise as part of the Summit for Urban Animal Strategies (SUAS), recognizes peers from all four sectors of the companion animal industry – animal control, animal health, animal welfare and animal services.
Larry Evans, Chair of the SUAS organizing committee, said Calgary Animal Services was selected specifically for its cat licensing program, introduced in January 2007, and it’s Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.
“Due to their on-going efforts to reduce the numbers of cats and dogs euthanized each year in Calgary, the award given to Animal and Bylaw Services is well-deserved,” said Evans.
Just over two years into the cat licensing initiative, the City's return to owner for cats has grown to 56 per cent and the euthanasia rate for cats has dropped to 18 per cent. The adoption rate has also increased. As of the end of 2008, there were 48,000 active cat licences which is about 45 per cent of the owned cats in Calgary. All of these statistics are significantly improved over previous years and are considered to be amongst the best in North America.
“We’ve worked hard with our partners throughout the city to address pet and animal populations, reduce human-animal conflicts, and make Calgary a leader in municipal animal control. “We are pleased to receive this award and grateful our efforts have been recognized nationally by our peers,” said Bill Bruce, Director of The City’s Animal and Bylaw Services.
Evans said that Cat licensing was implemented in Calgary with a promise that it would increase the return to owner rate in the community and reduce cat euthanasia at the city shelter.
“Another promise was made that all revenue from the licensing program would remain in the animal world, to benefit the community. The City has delivered on both of those promises,” Evans added.