Employees at the Animal Care & Control Centre love cats. That’s why it’s hard to see what they see. And why the centre is making changes.
“When too many cats are in the centre, we are unable to provide the level of care they need,” said Ron Gabruck, the City of Edmonton’s animal care director.
“Overcrowded conditions lead to increased illness, more stress on cats and staff, higher euthanasia rates and result in fewer animals being transferred out for adoption.”
In an average year, the centre accepts more than 600 feral cats and more than 4,000 domestic cats. Unfortunately, only 14 per cent are reclaimed by their owners.
Please call for appointment
The centre is now asking Edmontonians to make an appointment before they bring in healthy, lost, stray or feral cats. Priority goes to cats that are sick, injured or in distress. And to cats brought in when the temperature outside is below -20⁰ C.
“A scheduled intake model is our response to the growing problem of chronic overcrowding conditions at our animal care centre,” said Gabruck.
“A scheduled intake approach will allow the shelter to match incoming cats with outgoing placement into rescue and other feral cat programs,”
In 2018, the centre was forced to close its doors to healthy stray cats when maximum capacity was exceeded on numerous occasions.
Calling for an appointment to bring in a cat also makes it easier for the centre to balance intake and placement when animal seizures, often large in scale and unpredictably timed, happen.
Following best practice
Scheduled intake is a best practice adopted by shelters across North America. Like many of these leading shelters, Edmonton’s Animal Care & Control Centre is guided by the Capacity for Care Model (C4C) and the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare.
The Animal Care & Control Centre has several feral cat programs designed to address the feral cat overpopulation issue in Edmonton, including: Working Cats, Barn Buddy and Public Trap-Neuter-Return.
The centre also partners with other organizations, rescues and other stakeholders specializing in animal welfare issues.
For more information, including what to do if you’ve found a lost cat, visit, edmonton.ca/scheduledintake.