Many of us get immense satisfaction from having a pet, or two in our homes. These members of our household, whether four-legged, with feathers, or scales, come with needs and responsibilities to keep them safe and healthy. There are also other rules and regulations that are involved, as well as resources so that we, as a community can care for our own pets and the pets of others around us.
Here are some resources or programs that can be useful to everyone.
On Adopting and Registering Pets
1. Bylaws on Registering and Limits: For Edmonton, the easiest way to get an appointment and the information for pet license is by calling 311. The key online resource is at: https://www.edmonton.ca/pets
2. Adoption Agencies “Adopt, don’t shop” is a piece of advice that is being advocated these days, as there are many animals that are hurt or abandoned and need homes. Some agencies that are worth contacting are Second Change Animal Rescue Society, Zoe’s Animal Rescue, and Edmonton Humane Society.
3. Social Enterprises that Support Animals. Entrepreneurs who want to make a difference but also have a successful business are becoming more popular. Cat Café on Whyte, located at 10111 82 Ave NW is a café where you can get drinks and treats, spend time in a cozy lounge and hang out with dozens of cats. These cats are from a local shelter and are eligible for adoption.
On Responsible Pet Ownership
1. Information about Dogs in Public Places: Walking a dog or taking them to a park is quite common, and there are laws in place to ensure the safety of everyone. Violating these can hurt someone and can cause penalties towards both the owner and the pet. For more information check out https://www.edmonton.ca/residential_neighbourhoods/pets_wildlife/owning-a-pet-in-edmonton.aspx
2. Report Inappropriate treatment: There is a way to report pets that are hurt, whether it is not being fed properly, no proper shelter, or someone who has too many pets and are not being care for properly. Call the 311 if within Edmonton or 780-442-5311 if outside of Edmonton.
3. Reporting a Misbehaving or Nuisance Dog: Dogs that bark too loudly and too frequently can be reported. Other misbehaviours that can be reported are being unable to control the dog or keep the dog on a leash while outside the owner’s home, or excessive pooping in inappropriate places. The owner can be charged with fines up to $250. The information on how to report can be found on https://www.edmonton.ca/residential_neighbourhoods/pets_wildlife/nuisance-dogs.aspx
Caring for Pets during Unexpected Personal Emergencies
1. Safe House for Pets when Escaping Domestic Violence: Sometimes, when someone who is abused by their spouse wants to leave, what prevents them is the fear that their pets will be harmed when they go away. There is a Pet Safekeeping Program ran by the Alberta SPCA, where the victim’s pets can be cared for, while getting supports from domestic violence. For more information, go to: www.albertaspca.org and search for “Pet Safekeeping.”
2. Food Bank for Pet Food : When times are tough financially, many are still dedicated in caring for their pets. There is a “food bank” for pet food available in the city by Boyle Street Community Services. For information you can go to http://old.boylestreet.org/we-can-help/adult-services/pet-food-bank/ While this is no way an exhaustive list, the goal is to encourage seeking out information and assistance for any type of challenge, not matter how big or small, how common or not. For any readers who are not directly served by the area where the outlined programs are listed, it is likely that equivalents are available by searching the topic and adding the name of your location.