More Kudos For Calgary’s Animal Services
October 29, 2010 2 Comments
A tip of my hat (toque?) to Calgary’s Animal Services for now providing a no-cost spay and neuter program for low income pet owners.
I’ve said it before: Calgary’s Animal Services department and by-laws are great examples for how things should be done most everywhere. And the new spay and neuter assistance program certainly adds to that.
Individuals with yearly incomes less than $18,895, or couples with a combined annual income of less than $23,523, can receive the procedures free from the Animal Services Centre Clinic.
This will take a huge weight off the shoulders of low-income pet owners, because typically these services do not come cheap. Just last month when I was calling around for information before getting my cat spayed, I was quoted anywhere between $200 and $600 for the procedure. While that turned out to be a wide price range, even $200 low end can be quite a lot for many Calgarians.
The new no-cost program is paid for with the revenue received from cat licenses – just another good reason to license your pet, in addition to the city’s new I Heart My Pet rewards program, which offers discounts at local businesses for owners of licensed pets.
Obviously, this program will help to reduce the number of unwanted pets that end up in shelters in Calgary and the surrounding area. In 2009, the City of Calgary reports having had to euthanize 22 dogs and 16 cats for reasons only listed as “other”, in other words, not because of a health or behaviour issue that required the animal to be put down. And the city has recently asked for help with cat adoptions, noting that they are currently at capacity. Hopefully the no-cost program will help make these numbers lower or even non-existent in the coming years.
And, of course, I think we all know what I propose Calgary’s next big step to be when it comes to our pets: banning the sale of companion animals in pet stores. Such a by-law will also help diminish the population of rescue animals in the area (no more impulse pet purchases) and help to curb puppy mill sales. I’ve written this letter to Mayor Nenshi and City Council on the subject, and I encourage anyone else to do the same.
After all, while our city may be pretty great – especially in this category – it can always be greater.