BtC4A: Uniting for Rescue

It sneaks up on me every time, but it’s that time again – the quarterly Blog the Change for Animals event.

And this time there is a united front, where we’ve been asked to publicize the importance of dog rescue this time around and promote July 23’s upcoming online event: Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue.

Calgary has a lot of rescue organizations.  A depressing amount, really.

There are several general rescue organizations, such as the Calgary Humane Society, Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS), Pound Rescue, and Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF).

There are more specific rescues, such as the Meow Foundation for cats, and Little Mutts rescue for small breed dogs.  There’s also no shortage of breed-specific rescues operating locally, such as Alberta Bulldog Rescue and For the Love of Danes Rescue.

And for the most part, these rescues are pretty good at being visible when you’re looking for local rescues, and promoting their causes and services at local events.

But I think one rescue in particular often gets overlooked – at least from my perpective.

That’s Calgary Animal Services.

The City’s Animal and Bylaw Services just doesn’t impound dogs at large and collect licensing fees – they also adopt out dogs and cats who have been impounded for too long, or that are surrendered.

As of today, Animal Services lists 34 dogs up for adoption on their website and 63 in impound.  27 cats are adoptable, and 61 additional are impounded.

This adorable feline has been at Animal Services since May 19, 2012.

As I noted in a recent entry, if it costs about $15 per day for the City to care for an animal (not including overheads such as staff salaries and facilities costs), these 185 animals in the City’s care cost the City $2,775 per day.

This pup has been at Animal Services since May 31, 2012.

My point is not that the City should cease providing this service because of the cost – they absolutely should be.  My point is that every effort the City can make to promote rescue and curb pet overpopulation in Calgary makes sense fiscally and when it comes to animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.  Because any increase in adoption rates will translate to Animal Services as well as the other rescues.

From the Canada Revenue Agency website:  “In the context of animal welfare, the courts have determined that promoting the welfare of animals provides an intangible moral benefit to humanity in general. As a result, the very act of showing kindness to animals in need of assistance or care satisfies the public benefit requirement under common law.”

As with many other things, the fact that some people may not agree has meant that the courts have weighed in on something I know at least the audience here will see as common sense; animal welfare is more than just good for animals.

Coming full circle with the tone of the Soapbox recently, City Council will be considering amendments to the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw this September, and the amendments include things such as limiting the number of pets to repeat violators of the bylaws and a ban on the retail sales of dogs and cats in stores (obviously, stores may still opt to feature adoptable animals from local rescues).

Calgary is already well ahead of the curve with its progressive and effective pet bylaws (click for info on The Calgary Model), but these sorts of amendments to promote rescue and address abuse can really put us over the top.

It’s great to see these high-profile sorts of moves taken by municipal councils, and the general publicity given to these sorts of changes really gives rescue more visibility to the general public.

It’s nice to see blogging events coordinated to create a joint effort for a particular cause, but I often feel like these sorts of things are preaching to the choir.  Therefore, you need to draw attention of those to speak beyond the choir, so they too can share it.

So, if you’re in Calgary, take a couple of minutes and tell City Council you want to see these changes made.

If you’re not in Calgary, contact your municipal representatives with a similar message – not only to they have a wide audience and influence, they are also in the exact right position to facilitate real improvements for local rescues and companion animal welfare.

It’s completely free to contact your municipal, provincial (or state), and federal representatives, and representing their constituents’ interests is exactly what they were elected to do – make use of it!

And, of course, be sure to read and share the efforts being made on July 23 to promote rescue and adoption!

This stinkin’ cute puppy is also up for adoption at Animal Services with some littermates.

About ThatJenK
Writing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 90% pictures of my dogs; 10% miscellaneous opinions nobody asked for.

12 Responses to BtC4A: Uniting for Rescue

  1. Wonderful post, as always. You have a really persuasive voice! I do hope those amendments pass, so you can push Calgary over the top!

  2. thank you for your post. We are uniting with you and others to spread the word and blog for change.

  3. Hey it’s Jet here.
    Thanks for sharing what’s happening on this subject in your neck of the continent!

    In our area, our goofy government passed a referendum acknowledging and approving the need for a no-kill shelter (33,000 cats/dogs euthanized each year), and then said there is no money to do it!

  4. BtC4animals says:

    It’s encouraging to read about the steps Calgary is taking on behalf of homeless animals and I hope the amendments further the means to that end. Keep us posted!

    Thanks so much for Blogging the Change by spreading the word about the July 23rd dog rescue event. I understand and often feel similarly about preaching to the choir. At the same time, the social media outreach we add to the blogging component does tend to reach new eyes, especially on Twitter where connections aren’t just with dog/pet bloggers. If it weren’t for the sharing, the blogging part wouldn’t do a very good job as a stand alone process.

    PS: Rest assured, Blog the Change sneaks up on my every time too. 🙂

    Kim Clune

  5. Dogs N Pawz says:

    Great post! It’s always interesting to hear what’s going on in other parts of the world! I also hope those amendments pass. See you on the 23rd!

  6. Jen says:

    I missed it again! It always seems like I take a short blogging break when it’s time for BtC4 animals! We’ll be sure to join on the 23rd!
    Great post!

  7. i love the quote you pulled from the Canada Revenue Service that “promoting the welfare of animals provides an intangible moral benefit to humanity in general.” I couldn’t agree more.

    Really great post for Blog the Change (which sneaks up on me every time as well – so you’re not alone!).


  8. snoopys@snoopysdogblog says:

    Great post – every little baby step is a step in the right direction to helping all the animals in need 🙂

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  9. Kristine says:

    Great post, and even greater news! I like to joke about Alberta’s conservative ways but both Calgary and Edmonton have made wonderful gains when it comes to animal welfare. Hopefully one day other cities will follow suit. The HRM has an abysmal record, especially when it comes to cats. We are fortunate in that almost all the pet stores have opted on their own to stop selling cats and dogs but there are no bylaws that relate to cats and so many are suffering on the street as a result. If redneck Alberta (joking! joking!) can be so ahead of the curve, maybe there is hope for the backwater Maritimes too.

    • thatjenk says:


      This is a funny topic, because the other week when I was doing an interview over the phone with the Calgary Herald on the pet sale ban for ASLC, the guy asked me how I thought our chances were in a conservative town like Calgary.

      My answer to him was on our already progressive animal bylaws, and how this is just more of the same, but later I thought hey, if Rob Ford and his brother – and the rest of Toronto’s City Council – can vote in their ban unanimously, then Calgary should have no problems! lol

  10. Great post! A global problem, good work for making changes in your community! Educational programs help draw awareness, that also makes laws too, “to make change” so be it!!!

  11. What an great post! You are definitely making a difference in your community. Good job!

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