Fair-entry spay neuter surgeries to resume at the Animal Services Veterinary Clinic
The City of Calgary’s No Cost Spay Neuter Program, which offers fair-entry qualifying Calgarians no-cost spay/neuter surgeries for cats and dogs, is once again taking applications. Surgeries will resume beginning with cats on March 1, 2022, following a temporary program suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This pause has allowed The City of Calgary to evaluate the service and current landscape of the pet population, to reintroduce programming based on what low-income families need.
The Animal Services Centre has experienced a 108 per cent increase in stray cats brought in.
“Stray cat overpopulation is our number one issue, so we want to assist as many low income families as possible, while still meeting our core responsibility of caring for the stray animals admitted to the Animal Services Centre,” says Tara Lowes, Superintendent, Animal Shelter Services.
Lowes says dogs will be phased into the program later in the year.
To keep the program equitable, Calgarians who qualify for the program will have access to one referral per 12 months. Since the inception of the program in 2010, Animal Services has completed over 6,300 cat and dog surgeries for more than 4,500 Calgarians.
The City of Calgary Animal Services Centre Clinic plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of stray, lost and impounded animals. The No Cost Spay Neuter Program is delivered as a benefit to low-income Calgarians funded by pet licence fees.
Licence fees are also partially used to fund medical services for impounded injured or sick animals prior to adoption. A community peace officer recently brought a cat in need of medical attention, found running at large, to the Animal Services Centre. The cat was missing a large part of her upper lip, because of a cleft lip and palate issue. The food the cat was eating was entering in the nasal passage from the mouth, causing respiratory issues and discomfort.
Corrective surgeries were performed to repair the upper lip and the palate. The cat made a complete recovery and was transferred to a partner organization for adoption.
“Our team provides compassionate and quality veterinary care for the wellbeing of the impounded animals, with the goal of reuniting pets with their owners, or adopting them to new homes,” says Dr. Jagjit Cheema, Veterinarian with The City’s Animal Services team. “Providing animals a second chance by improving their quality of life, or performing spay/neuter surgeries for pets of low-income Calgarians, is very professionally rewarding.”
All impounded animals, where an owner is not identified, receive a detailed general physical exam after intake at the Animal Service Centre. They are then vaccinated, dewormed and if needed, spayed/neutered before being put forward for adoption. Dentistry, in-house diagnostics and a wide range of surgeries such as orthopedic, abdominal and ear and eye procedures can also be performed when needed.
An average of over 1,000 pet surgeries are performed yearly at the Animal Services Centre. For more information on animal programs and how to adopt, visit Calgary.ca/pets.