Staff of the Lethbridge Animal Shelter do everything they can to reunite lost pets with their families. Licensed pets, however, have a much better chance of being reunited with their owners.
"There are several benefits to having your dog licensed. If your dog goes missing and is picked up by an animal control officer, it will get a free ride home the first time or a free stay if it ends up visiting the shelter," says Skylar Plourde, Animal Control Officer for Lethbridge Animal Services.
In addition, if a licensed dog ends up in the shelter, it has a longer holding period than an unlicensed dog: 10 days rather than three before the dog is made available for adoption. In addition, if we find your dog and it is injured and needs special medical attention, you can be notified immediately for the best care possible. If a dog is not wearing a license, locating the owner can be difficult or sometimes impossible.
All dogs six months or older require a license. Pet owners who are new to the city or who have recently added a new dog to their family can license their dogs by visiting City Hall or the Animal Shelter at 2405-41 Street North.
Owners of licensed dogs who have changed addresses within the past year are asked to update their contact information by calling the Animal Shelter at 403-320-4099 or Regulatory Services at 403-320-3074. The deadline to renew dog licenses for the year is Jan. 31. It's easy to renew your dog license online at www.lethbridge.ca/AnimalShelter as well as by mail or in person at City Hall or the Animal Shelter. Owners can be fined for having unlicensed dogs.
Annual dog licenses range in cost as follows:
- $20 – Fixed and has a microchip and/or tattoo
- $25 – Fixed but no microchip or tattoo
- $45 – Not fixed but has either a microchip and/or tattoo
- $50 – Not fixed and no microchip or tattoo (ID)
In 2016, the shelter reunited 464 dogs with their owners, and 129 dogs were adopted into new homes. In the same year, the shelter reunited 176 cats with their owners, and 303 cats were adopted into new families. Cats can be licensed voluntarily for a one-time fee of $10.
Licensing fees help support the operations of the Animal Shelter to provide a safe place for lost and stray animals until their owners can be contacted or new homes can be found. Fees also support public education programs and the maintenance of dog parks around the city. More information is available at: http://www.lethbridge.ca/AnimalShelter.
Skylar Plourde, Animal Control Officer
Lethbridge Animal Services