Calgary pet owners who are struggling with costs for their furry friends may be glad to know some relief is on the way.
After a temporary program suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Calgary’s No Cost Spay Neuter Program will resume surgeries beginning with cats on March 1.
The hiatus allowed the City to evaluate the service and current landscape of the pet population and to reintroduce programming based on what low-income families need.
Over the past two years, the Animal Services Center has experienced a 108 per cent increase in stray cats brought in.
Stray cats remain the top issue for staff at the centre, said superintendent Tara Lowes.
“So we want to assist as many low-income families as possible, while still meeting our core responsibility of caring for the stray animals,” she said in a release.
Dogs will be added to the program later on, Lowes said.
Since 2010, Animal Services has completed approximately 6,300 cat and dog surgeries for more than 4,500 Calgarians. To keep the program equitable, Calgarians who qualify for the program will have access to one referral every 12 months.
Pet license fees fund the No Cost Spay Neuter Program as well as medical services for injured and sick animals under the care of the City of Calgary.
An average of more than 1,000 pet surgeries are performed every year at the Animal Services Centre, staff said.
For more information on animal programs visit calgary.ca/pets.