Calgary animal shelters 'in crisis' as all local shelters are at capacity

WATCH: Animal shelters across Calgary are sounding the alarm as they deal with overcrowding. As Craig Momney reports, most are at capacity and are hoping the public can help alleviate the stress.

Due to a massive influx of animals from a home mixed with surrender requests and a distemper outbreak, the City of Calgary said its animal shelters are in a crisis.

Just last week, the Calgary Humane Society seized a “large amount” of cats, and six birds from a home in the northeast that had incredibly dirty home conditions that were “causing health issues for everyone involved.”

Meanwhile, the city said the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) is still grappling with a distemper outbreak in dogs in its shelter and is at capacity for cats it can care for. Distemper is an incurable airborne illness primarily occurring in unvaccinated canines.

Due to full capacity, the city is temporarily suspending its Cat Trap program; however, it will be re-instated once shelter numbers have subsided.

The city added that its own animal services branch continues to deal with strays on a regular basis, which is why it’s pushing for people to make sure they properly ID their pets.

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Tips the city recommended to ensure your furry friend gets back to you include:

  • Ensuring your pet is licensed to help the City of Calgary reunite you if your pet escapes (the first ride home is a benefit of your licence).
  • Have additional identification for your pet such as vanity tags, a microchip or an ear tattoo.
  • Double-check your address and phone numbers are current under your pet’s licence or identification.
  • Look for your pet if it is lost; check with neighbourhood veterinary clinics, on Calgary.ca, social media groups for postings of local found pets (The City of Calgary Animal Services group on Facebook), and consider lost pet posters.

To help with the influx of pets in the local shelters, the city is calling on Calgarians to think about adopting a furry friend or to temporarily foster one. Most shelters will provide all the food, toys and items a foster pet needs to be comfortable, with the only responsibility for the caregiver to be a loving temporary pet owner along with taking the pet to vet appointments, paid by the shelter.

Appointment-only pet adoptions will soon be allowed by the city to help local shelters with this crisis. In-person pet adoptions were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.

For the month of June, AARCS and CHS have both initiated a “choose your own fee” adoption event which you can find more information about on their respective websites.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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