Pets are often considered part of our families, so when they go missing it is an anxious time for both owners and the animals.
What to do if you've lost your pet
If you discover your pet is lost, there are several things you can do:
- Look around your neighbourhood and ask neighbours if they have seen your pet. Be sure to include the time and approximate place your pet went missing. Let others know you've lost your pet; it may not have wandered far.
- Visit Edmonton's Animal Care & Control Centre right away, located at 13550 - 163 Street, or use the Centre's Lost Pet service to look at animals that are currently at our centre. New animals are brought to the City's safe-keeping facility daily. Dogs and cats are held for 3 -10 days before they are assessed for adoption and transferred to the Edmonton Humane Society or other local rescue groups.
- Contact the Edmonton Humane Society, other local rescue groups and your local vets to check if your animal has been brought in injured. Capital City Animal Hospital offers 24-hour emergency service and often receives lost pets.
- Get online with PetLynx, an online 24 hour service that lists found pets so you can access the service any time of day. If you "register" your pet, you will be e-mailed automatically whenever a matching found animal is entered into the system. Also, found pets are often listed on sites like Kijiji and Craigslist, so be sure to check those.
- Check to make sure that the contact information associated with your City pet's licence is correct. If your pet is licensed and wearing tags, Animal Care & Control will contact you if your pet is admitted to the City's facility.
If you locate your pet at the Animal Care & Control Centre, owners are generally responsible for paying shelter fees and may have to pay a fine for having an animal at large. Kennel fees for the first day are $25 and $15 each day thereafter.
Additional charges also apply for any veterinary treatment provided, or if your pet was admitted through the Capital City Animal Hospital.
The fine for a pet at large is $100 and the fine for an unlicensed pet is $250.
If you find a stray pet
If you find a stray pet, there are several steps you can take to help return the animal to the owners:
- Contact 311 for assistance from Animal Care & Control to pick up dogs. If you have any concern about a stray dog's behaviour, this is the best action to take. Licensed dogs will be taken home if possible; otherwise, the animal is admitted to the Animal Care & Control Centre. Licensed pets are entitled to one free ride home every 12 months. If the pet is wearing a licence tag, you may be able to contact the owner yourself. Call 311 for assistance.
- Transport the animal to the Animal Care & Control Centre; the City will search for the owner.
- If the animal is injured or if it is after-hours, take the animal to the Capital City Animal Hospital at 11104-102 Avenue. Animal Care & Control will pick it up the next day.
Note: Animal Care & Control does not pick up stray cats. Please transport stray cats to the Animal Care & Control Centre or if it is after hours the Capital City Animal Hospital.
If you would like to adopt the stray animal, be sure to ask the City for special consideration. If the owner does not claim the animal and it is adoptable, you may be able to adopt it from the Edmonton Humane Society.
Keep your pet safe
We all want to be a responsible pet owner and keep animals safe. There are steps you can take to help prevent your pet from getting lost and, if your pet does go missing, help ensure a safe return home:
- Licence your pet – this is a simple and easy way to ensure your pet's information is on file and linked to your household
- Have your pet implanted with a microchip and keep the contact information up-to-date
- Keep cats inside – the chance of them going missing or being injured is greatly reduced if they stay indoors
- Spay and neuter your companion pets, as this will diminish their urge to roam and mate
- If you take your pet outside, ensure it is properly leashed or in a secured area, like a fenced yard
Numbers to call if your pet is lost
Animal Care & Control (City of Edmonton): 311
Edmonton Humane Society: 780-471-1774
Capital City Animal Hospital: 780-433-9505
Guardian Veterinary Centre: 780-436-5880