Calgarians can now apply to keep livestock emotional support animals

Balancing the needs and emotional well-being of Calgarians with the welfare and appropriate care of animals, The City has just launched the application process for livestock emotional support animals (LESA). Calgarians will be able to keep a livestock animal on their property if they meet the requirements of the permit application.

To be approved, requirements include a letter from a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist recommending the animal as part of a treatment program for mental health, the contact information of a licensed veterinarian that can provide specialized care for the livestock and an alternate home for the animal outside of Calgary should the permit be revoked or the owner is no longer able to care for the animal. Before a permit is issued a site visit will be conducted to verify the yard has the necessary space to properly care for the animal. The City’s planning and development requirements must also be met in the event that a structure to house the animal is built by the owner.

“In October of last year, the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw was amended to allow Calgarians to keep livestock emotional support animals,” says Aalika Kohli, Business and Policy Analyst, Calgary Community Standards. “With this new permitting process, we are pleased to be able to meet the needs of Calgarians while ensuring animal welfare remains a top priority.”

Kohli also says this permit is part of The City’s commitment to supporting the mental health needs of Calgarians, as this furthers the mandate put forward in the Community Action on Mental Health and Addiction.

Dogs, cats and other domestic animals that provide emotional support do not require a permit as they are allowed under the Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw. While dogs and cats do not require a LESA permit, they do require a license. 

For more information about obtaining a LESA permit and the application process, visit