Once again, a shortage of shelter space has forced the Animal Care and Control Centre (ACCC) in Edmonton to temporarily stop accepting healthy animals.
“A continuing surge of dogs being brought to the facility, along with a recent animal seizure, which resulted in 61 cats being brought into the facility, have contributed to the current lack of space,” ACCC spokesperson Chris Webster told Global News on Tuesday.
Intake was paused on Jan. 30.
Until more space is created, priority will be given to animals who are injured or in significant distress.
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At this time, the city, which runs the ACCC, is asking Edmontonians who find an animal to try to reunite it with the owner. If the owner cannot be found, the city is asking people to take care of the animal until an appointment can be made.
If you find an animal, the ACCC suggests:
Edmontonians asked to help care for lost dogs as ACCC pauses intake
Animal shelters have noticed an increase in the number of abandoned animals across Alberta since the pandemic, especially in 2023.
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“With the rising cost of living, some pet owners are finding themselves faced with the hard choice to abandon their animals due to being unable to afford basic necessities,” the ACCC said.
“For anyone who may find themselves in that position, supports may be available and more information can be found at edmonton.ca/PetOwnership.”
The ACCC cares for about 6,000 to 7,000 animals each year. The centre’s goal is to return lost animals to their owners and work with partner agencies to find homes for animals.
Tessla Bomberry was driving to an evening workout class on Monday, Jan. 29, when she saw a little animal on the median on Sherwood Drive near the Hilton.
The little dog, which Bomberry believes is a young — between one and two years — Cocker Spaniel or King Charles Spaniel, had a collar but no tags. The collar was quite worn. The 20-pound dog was timid and running into traffic, Bomberry said.
“I picked her up and put her in the back of my car, and then I was like: ‘I have to find whoever this dog belongs to!’”
She searched the area, looked on Facebook and Kijiji, called bylaw and Sherwood Park RCMP. She was told it would be best if she could hold on to the animal for a while.
“It is a little frustrating. I have a dog on my own. I work full time. This dog isn’t housetrained, so she doesn’t know how to go to the bathroom outside. But at the same time, I understand when you just don’t have room.”
Bomberry bathed the dog and then took her to a vet to check for a microchip. They found neither a microchip nor a tattoo. She also made a ‘found dog’ post and shared it online with the dog’s photos. So far, no matches.
“We’re taking care of her. She has a home for now. But ideally, I’d like to know if there is someone missing her,” Bomberry said.
“If it was my dog — heaven forbid, something happened — I really hope someone would have the compassion to try to reunite her with me. And that’s all I’m trying to do.”
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Bomberry plans to return to the spot where she found the dog and hang some flyers. She’s also been re-sharing the post on social media in the hopes the owner will see it and come forward. If no one does, Bomberry says she knows a retired couple that would be willing to foster the dog for a while.
“I would hate to send her to a shelter but I don’t know if I’m in the right to rehome a dog that belonged to someone.”
The dog is described as a young spaniel, not spayed, about 20 pounds.
She was found near the Aldridge Crescent area in Sherwood Park.
“For anyone who has dogs, make sure they’re registered, make sure they have tags, microchip if you can afford it,” Bomberry said, “and try to keep them safe and sound.”
Edmonton city councillor Jo-Anne Wright is worried about how the ACCC’s pause on healthy intakes might affect animals, especially in the winter.
“I’m concerned what’s going to happen to some of those animals that are found … but we do have other agencies, different animal rescue organizations and people themselves if they have the ability to take in the animals out of the cold, I think would be great.
“I don’t know if it’s putting the onus (on the public). I think it’s recognizing that Edmontonians are really a caring and compassionate bunch and I think, for the most part, people will take that responsibility on themselves if they are able.”
Wright also stressed the importance of getting pets licensed and registered.
“Not only from a financial perspective — people should get their permits and licences for their animals — but that also helps, if they are lost, if somebody finds them, to redirect back to the owner.”
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