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Fewer animal surrenders as Calgary Humane Society changes approach

(Stock photo: Pexels.com)

Fewer Calgarians are saying goodbye to their four-legged friends.

The Calgary Humane Society is crediting new policies for a decrease in animal surrenders, even as economic woes persist.

In January, 125 pets were given up to the shelter, compared to 203 in the same month of 2016.

Phil Fulton, Manager of Community Outreach said 2016 was a difficult year for everyone.

“We couldn’t continue to do business as usual,” Fulton said. “We would hit capacity very quickly — we would have to have emergency events.”

Fulton says instead of accepting all animals no questions asked, they now offer support and education to owners to help them keep their pets, whenever possible.

“You have to have an appointment. We have to know when you’re coming in, ‘what are the reasons that you’re coming in? And can we help you to prevent surrendering to us?’,” he said.

The number one reason Fulton has seen for giving up a dog a cat or a rabbit is the owner is moving into no-pet housing.

“In a lot of cases they are finding other alternatives, whether that’s a family member or friend, to take care of the animal rather than having to surrender it to us,” he said.

However, Fulton says they are prioritizing emergency cases to make sure those animals get care and shelter right away.