The Calgary Humane Society is “bursting at the seams with dogs” and needs the public’s help adopting or fostering the animals, Anna-Lee Rieb, manager of community support and engagement, said Wednesday.
“We are at capacity, so what that means for us is every kennel is full,” she said.
“Right now, we have 14 dogs available for adoption, but we have upwards of 30 to 40 dogs, either in the shelter or in foster homes, so just awaiting medical care or any kind of behavioural intervention, like waiting to become available for adoption.”
The shelter is tight on space due to renovations and the pandemic. Rieb hopes renovations will be complete in time for the CHS’ 100th birthday in June 2022.
“Our capacity at the shelter itself is a lot smaller than normal. It’s about cut in half of what we can normally house at our shelter, so we are really relying on foster homes as a result of that,” she said.
“And as a result of COVID, we have seen an increase in owner surrenders due to medical care costs. People adopted a puppy or a dog during the pandemic and didn’t really fully understand what the cost associated was going to be.”
CHS is offering 50 per cent off adult dog adoption fees until Oct. 31.
“Anyone thinking about adopting, now is a really good time,” Rieb said.
“Our dog appointments are 90 minutes in length, and they’ll have the undivided attention of an adoption counsellor when they come in for that appointment, and they can meet all the dogs that are available.”
Fostering is fun too, and she said the CHS makes it easy.
“We provide all of the supplies, everything from bedding, toys, enrichment activities, all of the food, obviously any medical care, behavioural support,” Rieb explained.
“We even have a volunteer program where our volunteers will deliver foster supplies to your home.”
“There’s no cost associated. We cover everything. We’re very supportive. We’re there to help you along the way, and it’s really, really helpful to us as a shelter because you’re helping take an animal out of a kennel and put them in a home environment, which obviously is really beneficial to them as well.”
The shelter is big on education, whether you’re a beginner or experienced dog owner.
“We just ask a lot of questions about lifestyle, about home environments, what kind of setup they have, any experience, and we want to make sure everybody is safe, so we will just ask about the number of children in the home and how they would plan on exercising the dog or housing them when they are out of the house,” Rieb said.
“We run a very extensive post-adoption program as well, so even once you’ve adopted and taken the animal home, we’re there to support you with any questions you might have once you get home,” she explained.
“We also offer a return policy. Most adoptions work out, but sometimes they don’t, and that’s totally normal. Animals are unpredictable and things can change.”