Monday, August 21, 2017

The importance of pet licensing

As good pet parents, we’re confident that our cat or dog will never get out of our reach because ‘we’re the boss’, but pet escapes happen to the best of us. Our furry friends slip through our legs when we open the door, make a run for it chasing after rabbits, or break out of the yard when a gate is mistakenly left open.

The transitional period from the summer to fall is when the Animal Services Centre observes an increase in lost pets and strays through the shelter. This is often because it is a time of common transition; when people are leaving and returning from vacation and house sitters are monitoring pets, and when parents are busy getting children in and out of the door for a new year of school.

The specialists at the Animal Services Centre can’t stress the importance of licensing your cat or dog enough, and offer the top reasons for doing so:

1. It is cost efficient and easy

Licensing and yearly renewal fees are inexpensive (and you can easily initiate or renew your pet licence online or by calling 311).

2. It’s in the best interest of your cat or dog
Think of licensing your pet as the ‘lost and found’ of one of your most important assets (your furry best friend!). Your animal’s identification provides vital information (which is linked through your cat or dog’s licence) that ensures a reunion (should your lost animal be housed at the shelter).

3. It’s the law
Every cat and dog in Calgary is required to be licensed under the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw 23M2006, subject to a specified penalty of $250.

4. It is for the betterment of our city and animals
The licensing fees support the care of homeless animals, returning lost pets home and veterinary services for pets in the care of Animal Services, among many other supportive services.

The loaning of humane cat traps is also offered through Animal Services, so concerned Calgarians can help in the retrieval of lost or stray cats in their neighbourhood.

5. The Pet Drive Home Program
Through Animal Services’ Pet Drive Home Program, peace officers are able to return lost pets
directly to their owners when found (through information linked to the animal’s licence or permanent identification). Over 2016 and 2017, approximately 7% of lost licensed cats and 28% of lost licensed dogs were returned to owners through the program.

Animal Services’ goal is to provide assistance to protect the health and safety of Calgary communities and the animal population, while promoting responsible pet ownership and offering services such as animal adoption, a no cost spay/neuter program, education and volunteer programs, and a full service veterinary clinic for sheltered animals.

Licence your animal in person at the Animal Services Centre, by phone (311) or online at

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