Over 100 cats and 100 dogs have been brought to the Animal Care and Control Centre since the beginning of this year.
In an update to the council on Sept. 19, city administration presented information on animal intake, care, licensing, and other factors the ACCC has seen since January.
“Some of these animals are repeat offenders, in that they have been picked up at large more than once,” said Planning, Development, and Regulated Services Manager Andrew Jabs.
Of all the animals entering the ACCC, only 15 percent of dogs and 11 percent of cats had identification, despite pet licences being free in 2023.
“This is something we want to see improved in the community,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We offered free licensing to pet owners, but people still didn’t take advantage of it. Having a licence is the easiest way to have a pet returned if it happens to get loose.”
During their stay, animals are checked for identification and advertised on Facebook through the Cold Lake Animal Care and Control page. All animals are provided with a safe shelter, food, water, and care while efforts are made to locate their families.
Although animals are only intended to be kept for a short period of time, many animals have overstayed this timeframe due to a lack of space at shelters around Alberta. Staff at the ACCC have been in contact and/or coordinating with over 25 animal rescues and adoption facilities across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and BC, to find somewhere to take the animal. Most of time these facilities are full, however do take animals when they have room to do so, including the Lakeland Humane Society. The longest stay at the ACCC has been 15 days over the holding period for cats, and 47+ days over the holding period for dogs.
If an animal is found to be in distress or suffering, Municipal Enforcement takes the animal to an emergency veterinarian on call for assessment. Zero healthy animals have been euthanized while at the ACCC.
“We will continue to promote responsible pet ownership in the community,” said Copeland.