Cats at the Animal Shelter
The City of Lethbridge Animal Shelter is a public facility operated by SPD Animal Services. Although this is a public facility, we must strategically manage intake, surrenders, adoptions and injured/sick cats to ensure all cats can get the best possible care.
When a cat comes in to our care, it is assessed, vetted and groomed if necessary. Cats can be injured, sick, hungry, lost, or all of the above. It is crucial that once a cat comes in to our care, it spend two weeks in isolation (unless claimed by an owner), so it can be given all the necessary immunizations and so it doesn't spread sickness or disease to the other cats in our care. The cat will also be spayed or neutered in that two week period.
The City of Lethbridge does not have a cat bylaw, but we encourage responsible cat ownership at all times. This means licensing your cat (a lifetime cat license is only $10), and being respectful of others in your neighbourhood, who may not want cats wandering around in their yards.
Cat traps can be used to humanely trap cats who are viewed as being a nuisance. We recommend first talking to your neighbour about a cat issue, before taking steps to trap a cat. If you need tips on dealing with a nuisance cat in your neighbourhood, please call one of our knowledgeable staff members at the Animal Shelter at 403-320-4099.
If a cat is not bothering you and you see it roaming around, there is a chance it has a home. Before picking that cat up or trapping it and taking it in to the Shelter, assess whether you think it is in danger or if it might simply be out exploring. You may also want to consider talking to your neighbours first.
We cannot accept cats that have been trapped in private traps and encourage residents to borrow one of our 12 humane traps. There is a $50 deposit that will be returned to you when the trap is returned.
Feeding cats you don't own can hurt them
Here is why:
- A lost or outdoor cat may not return home to satisfy their hunger.
- Leaving food outside may attract wildlife like skunks, racoons and coyotes, which puts the cats, residents and the wildlife, in danger.
- A consistent food source encourages cats to call your neighborhood home, putting them at greater risk.
- Feeding strays increases their natural ability to give birth to larger litters who are destined for the situation you are trying to prevent.
- More cats in smaller areas greatly increases the spread of diseases and territorial disputes.
We understand that sometimes you may not be able to keep a family cat any longer. If every effort has been exhausted to find your cat a new home, the Animal Shelter will take owner surrenders for a fee of $70. This fee helps to cover the vetting and food costs for the cat before it is adopted to a new home. Please call the Shelter at 403-320-4099 before bringing your cat in, so we can learn more about the cat first. We specifically need to know the cat's history, vets records, temperament and other important details we can explain on the phone.
Never leave cats or any other animals on the door step of the Shelter when it is closed. This is dangerous for the animal and can result in death or serious harm.