UPDATE: Councillors are set to discuss the potential pet limit at their next meeting on June 9th.
CALGARY – Could Calgarians soon face a limit on the number of pets they can have in their home?
City councillors are expected to discuss the idea on Monday, after Ward 13 Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart brought forward a notice of motion.
Her idea to limit the number of cats and dogs owners can have at one residence comes in response to a massive dog seizure earlier this month.
On May 13th, a total of 33 dogs were recovered from a home in Acadia.
The dogs were discovered living in deplorable conditions in a home on Addison Drive S.E. following a concerned neighbor’s call to police.
Officers say many of the dogs were in crates stacked to the ceiling and covered in urine and feces. Vents in the home were clogged with animal hair, and the furniture had been torn up.
While no specific ban numbers are being proposed by Calgary councillors, cities like Toronto have limits in place which specify no more than three dogs and six cats per household.
Animal foster homes, however, are granted an exception.
“I hate making policy in response to one bad incident,” says Mayor Naheed Nanshi. “But at the same time, this may show a little bit of a hole in the work that we do.”
Local rescue organizations are collectively opposing the potential changes, suggesting they are reactionary and would only punish responsible pet owners.
“The number really doesn’t matter, it’s about adequate standard of care,” says Christine Campbell with Oops-a-Dazy Rescue and Sanctuary Society. “We’ve seen people with just one pet who haven’t been able to provide that care.”
There are also worries that pet limits would force owners with multiple animals to reluctantly surrender them.
“Those pets will end up in shelters and rescues which are already full beyond capacity, and really force some shelters into higher euthanasia rates,” adds Campbell.