The Calgary Model

This is very similar to a post that’s been knocking about inside my head, so while I play catch up after my week away, have this post instead!

In North America we do not have a problem with pet overpopulation, stray animals, nuisance or vicious animals – we have a problem with responsible pet ownership. Virtually every animal that ends up in a shelter or on the street is there because a human relationship failed them…It’s always the animal that pays in the end.

Bill BruceBill Bruce, Director of Calgary Animal and Bylaw Services attacks the problem head-on with a three-pronged approach to responsible pet ownership, incorporating licensing, public education and enforcement, with supporting agencies all working together to achieve the same goals.

As long as owners license their pets, have them spayed or neutered, take proper care of them and ensure they don’t show signs of aggression, such as charging or excessive barking, they won’t have to deal with Bill.

His mission is “To encourage a safe, healthy, vibrant community for people and pets through the development, education…

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2 thoughts on “The Calgary Model

  1. I’m not totally sure this is 100% right because, on the one hand, there’s a population of cats who are only loosely attached to people and on the other there will always be situations where perfectly reasonable people have to give up animals (e.g. if they die suddenly and none of their family or friends are in a position to take on their pets).

    However I’m sure he’s correct that (at least for dogs) there isn’t an “overpopulation” problem in the same sense that there’s a problem of overpopulation of deer in the UK, because the vast majority of puppies are deliberately planned on the assumption that they have a market value.


    1. Yes, the waters are muddier for cats, I’d agree.

      When I was in Taiwan last week I had a very interesting experience where I was in a shelter where there were ‘free adoptions’ at the weekends. I felt this was almost a step backwards, promoting irresponsible pet ownership. The monetary value of an animal does tend to engender more thought into their adoption/purchase.

      Like I say, I want to write about this at some point, but I’ll need to do some reading up to see if anyone’s done studies on this. 🙂


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