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Edmonton halts intake of healthy dogs at Animal Care and Control Centre

Edmonton’s Animal Care and Control Centre is temporarily pausing the intake of healthy dogs because of a lack of available kennel space.

The move is necessary because of “an ongoing increase in animal drop-offs at the centre and at shelters and rescues across the province,” the City of Edmonton said in a news release Tuesday.

Until more space is available for healthy dogs, priority will be given to dogs that are injured or in significant distress, showing symptoms such as “bleeding, trouble breathing, obvious fractures, unconsciousness, inability to move and seizing,” the city said.

Animal Care and Control staff are working with partners and private kennels to find additional kennel space.

CBC Edmonton reported earlier this month that an unprecedented surge in the number of cats and dogs being surrendered by their owners is creating a capacity crisis at pet rescue facilities across Alberta.

At the time, a spokesperson for the Alberta SPCA said the society’s officers have seen a concerning rise in the number of animals discarded by their owners.

Anyone who finds a lost dog should try to reunite the animal with its owner, the city said.

If those efforts aren’t successful, finders are asked to care for the animal “until an appointment can be made,” John Wilson, the city’s director of animal control and park rangers, said in the release.

“We appreciate that times are hard for many Edmontonians right now,” he said. “But before surrendering your animal, we would encourage you to explore the resources and supports available to you.”

People who find lost dogs can take these steps, the city said:

  • Post the animal to the City of Edmonton’s Lost & Found Pet website.
  • Look for a City of Edmonton tag and call 311 for contact information for the owner.
  • Bring the animal into a veterinary clinic to check for a microchip.
  • Post a picture of the dog on Edmonton Lost Pets, Edmonton & Area Lost Pets, and Edmonton Lost & Found Pets and other community Facebook pages.
  • Walk the animal around the neighbourhood and talk to residents.
  • Use online platforms like Facebook and Kijiji to find the owner.
  • Hold the dog until an appointment can be made. For questions or information on supports please call 311 or visit the city’s Responsible Pet Ownership web page.

The Animal Care and Control Centre cares for 6,000 to 7,000 animals each year.

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