Pets in Parkallen
Note: This article originally appeared in the November 2018 edition of the Parkallen News. Please check out our new Parkallen Pets Facebook Group!
People in Parkallen certainly love their pets! Over the last few months, we have had a large number of social media posts about lost and found animals. In helping these concerned community members and their animals, we’ve learned a few things we wanted to share.
What do I do if I find a pet?
This all depends on the type of animal found, and its condition. Did you spot a large dog running free in the neighbourhood? Or has a dog wandered into your yard? For a friendly dog, the first step is to check for tags, post to our Facebook page, and ask neighbours if they recognize the animal. If you don’t track down an owner right away, or the dog is running loose and you don’t feel comfortable approaching it, your best bet is to phone 311. Animal Care and Control officers will come pick up the dog, and if it is licensed it is entitled to one free ride home a year. Alternately, if the dog has tags, 311 may be able to give you contact information for the owner.
Cats are often outdoor pets. If you find a friendly, confident cat outdoors and it appears to be happy and well fed, it’s best to leave it where it is. These are often owned outdoor cats and do not need assistance. These cats can be brought to Animal Care & Control if they are injured, creating a nuisance, or appear to be unhealthy. Community cats are cats that were once owned, but are now on their own due to being lost or abandoned. They may be more skittish than owned cats but otherwise healthy and independent. If you can confirm a cat has been abandoned and think it could be re-homed, consider contacting an animal rescue for assistance. In most cases it is best to monitor the condition of these cats and bring them in to Animal Care & Control if they are creating a nuisance, or appear to be unhealthy or injured. Lost cats are often not used to being outdoors and may appear to be scared or in distress. Unfortunately very few cats brought into Animal Care & Control are reunited with their families. Cats are ten times more likely to find their way home when they remain in the neighbourhood. If the cat is approachable, try to check for tags with owner contact information or a City of Edmonton license. If the cat has a license you may be able to get owner contact information by calling 311. Monitor the cat and talk to neighbours or post to our Facebook page to try to identify an owner. Consider taking the animal to a vet to check for a microchip or tattoo. If these cats appear to be in great distress, please take them into Animal Care & Control.
We have had at least 2 domestic rabbits spotted in the community over the last few months. If these rabbits are outdoors unsupervised, they are most likely lost or abandoned. In this case, we recommend talking to neighbours and posting to our Facebook page. If possible, try to capture the rabbit and take it to Animal Care & Control.
If any found animal is injured and Animal Care & Control is closed, please transport it to Guardian Veterinary Centre at 5620- 99 Street. The veterinary staff will treat the animal and transfer it to Animal Care & Control in the morning. Due to limited space, they are unable to take in uninjured stray animals.
I’ve lost my pet, what can I do?
Take a walk through the neighbourhood and let community members know your pet is missing. Post to our Facebook group, Parkallen Pets, most animal lovers are happy to help you look or will keep an eye out for your pet. Check the City of Edmonton’s Found Pet Search Tool. This website keeps track of all the animals brought into Animal Care & Control. https://bit.ly/2S1GfIF
Contact the City of Edmonton at 311 to make sure the contact information for your pet license is up-to-date. This helps ensure if someone finds your pet you will be contacted right away. Make sure you make check Animal Care & Control right away, and check back with them often. If your pet is found, you may be responsible for fees for boarding or vet treatment and any fines incurred. Dogs and cats are kept by Animal Care & Control for 3-10 days and if an owner can not be found, animals are assessed for adoption and transferred to local rescue groups.
How can I keep my pet safe?
License your pet with the City of Edmonton and renew the license yearly. Pet licenses are easy to apply for online. They make it easy for anyone who has found your pet to ensure it gets back to you. This also helps you avoid the $250 fine for an unlicensed animal. https://bit.ly/2q1VvbC Spay or neuter your pet. This makes your animal less likely to wander off, prevents unwanted litters, and makes licensing more affordable. Seniors and those on income support are also eligible for an additionally discounted license for one spayed or neutered animal through the City of Edmonton.
Microchip or tattoo your pet and keep the information up-to-date. Ever see the stories online of pets reunited with owners years after going missing? These stories are often made possible by these permanent forms of ID. Watch Animal Care & Control’s Facebook page as they have offered free microchipping to licensed cats in the past as part of a pilot program. Many vets offer these services as affordable add-ons to a spay or neuter surgery.
Keep your animal indoors or closely supervised and on leash outdoors. Parkallen is home to wildlife that can be dangerous to your pet. Hawks, owls, porcupines, coyotes and skunks have all been spotted in the area and can cause serious harm to your furry family member, even if they are in a fenced yard. This also protects your pet from injury caused by traffic or becoming unintentionally trapped in garages or sheds.
Legally, neighbours can trap your roaming outdoor cat and transport them to Animal Care & Control if they are wandering on private property. If this occurs, you will be liable for any fees or fines incurred. Purchase additional tags for your pet with their name and your phone number clearly marked. Consider adding an outdoor or indoor designation on a tag for a cat, so community members can immediately tell if your cat is in need of assistance.
What if I can no longer care for my pet?
If you make the difficult decision to re-home your pet, there are several animal rescue groups in the city that will be happy to assist you. The Edmonton Humane Society will accept surrendered animals for a small fee that helps cover the cost of the animal’s care. It is not recommended to offer your pet for free on social media or on buy and sell websites. A reputable rescue can make sure your pet goes to the best possible home and will charge adopters a fee that will help cover the cost of the pet’s care while at the rescue. They will also ensure that an animal is spayed or neutered before rehoming, preventing unwanted litters in the future. Under no circumstance should any pet be released outdoors to fend for itself.
Local Organizations to contact for help:
Animal Care & Control
13550 - 163 Street Edmonton, AB
Guardian Veterinary Centre
5620- 99 Street Edmonton, AB
Edmonton Humane Society
(780) 471-1774 13620 163 St NW,
Greater Edmonton Animal Rescue Society (GEARS)
Humane Animal Rescue Team