"Let's Clone Calgary's Animal Control"
By Ledy VanKavage, June 21, 2010, on Change.org
[She has worked extensively on behalf of animals for over 25 years.
She is currently the Senior Legislative Attorney for Best Friends Animal Society.]
"I felt as though I had been living in the Dark Ages when I heard Calgary's top Animal & Bylaw Services officer, Bill Bruce, speak about his city's progressive animal control program at Best Friends’ No More Homeless Pets Conference in Las Vegas last year. Calgary’s Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw is based on four principles: License and provide permanent identification for pets; spay or neuter pets; provide training, physical care, socialization and medical attention for companion animals; and do not allow pets to become a threat or a nuisance in the community. Public safety has been greatly enhanced because of its enactment and enforcement, and by following the bylaw’s principles, Calgary has earned accolades for controlling aggressive-dog incidents and reducing bites...
...Calgary’s licensing rate for dogs is more than 90 percent. The Animal and Bylaw Services department actually makes money, unlike the majority of animal-control facilities in the States. Because of this, licensing fees — not tax dollars — fund the department’s volunteer, public education and animal adoption programs, as well as the operation of its animal shelter and its new low-cost spay/neuter clinic, where low-income pet owners can get their animals sterilized for free.
Humane advocates interested in reforming local animal control should lobby for their cities and counties to clone Calgary's methods. It could save animal lives, enhance public safety and save tax dollars."