Over the past few weeks there has been an uptick in social media postings about stray dogs and cats in Airdrie.
Samuel Sandidge, the Assistant Manager at Alberta Pound and Rescue Centres (APARC) Airdrie says the weather can play a big role in how many animals are outside as well as how many people are outside to find those missing animals.
“During the summer months, we experience something called kitten season. We will get a litter or two of kittens in a week, every week or so. This becomes a huge strain on our resources. A lot of these kittens don't have moms.”
Sandidge says kitten season is like a plague in shelters because it highlights the problem with pet overpopulation. Pet overpopulation can be a big problem for the shelter because it has to provide the kitten with replacement milk and around the clock care because many kittens need to be fed every two hours.
One of the reasons for the influx is because folks leave their animals outside and forget about a door or latch that is still open.
Sandidge says letting pets roam outside freely within the City of Airdrie can be harmful to both humans and the roaming pet.
“For example, cats can spread diseases such as ringworm, which is a zoonotic disease, meaning a human can actually get infected with ringworm. If a cat has it,” says Sandidge.
Disease can spread faster for stray pets or animals living outside because of fighting and mating.
It is harmful for dogs to roam the city freely because they might run into the street and get hit by a vehicle. The two common reasons for an animal coming into the shelter with an injury is because it was either fighting in the wild or hurt by a vehicle.
Animal Control works with municipal enforcement and can make proper assessments of stray animals. APARC does not provide any animal control services, they only accept animals.
“We accept animals from municipal enforcement, the RCMP and from the general public. Dogs and cats are the animals that we take care of in shelter. We do provide services for some other domestic animals,” says Sandidge.
Each impoundment within the year will cost more and every day the animal is there, fees will increase. If you have a lost animal, making a loss report can help find your pet.
Sandidge says often times it takes longer for owners to contact the shelter about lost cats because the owner will let their cat free roam outside. With dogs there is an almost immediate call back but sometimes the owner can’t come pick up the dog right away, leaving it up for adoption.
Sandidge says there has been an uptick in adoption. That is concerning for the shelter because there will be more reclaim requests.
“If you find a lost cat or a dog in the city of Airdrie, you can bring it by overdependent rescue center off of East Lake Way, or you can call municipal enforcement. I suggest that you call municipal enforcement first, because if an animal is sick or injured, they can be kind of unpredictable.”
On average, more cats show up than dogs, but the reclaim rate at APRAC Airdrie is higher than the national average. About 25 per cent of the cats in the shelter get reclaimed and about 85-to-90 per cent of dogs get reclaimed in any given month.
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