Here’s What Happens When A City Works Together To Save Shelter Pets

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In less than 24 hours, the City of Calgary turned an overcrowded shelter into an adoption success story, and placed more than 50 cats into loving forever homes.

It all started with an urgent plea for help.

Kitten season, the time of spring when unspayed cats go into heat, leading to a boom in the stray animal population, left Calgary’s city shelter overcrowded and at risk of having to euthanize its intakes. It had already housed more than 100 cats, and more were arriving each day, the CBC reports.

Source: Pixabay
The Calgary shelter was overcrowded in the middle of kitten season.


“Animal services has had to re-arrange rooms and cages in the shelter to accommodate all of these cats,” Patti Smadis with the city’s animal services told the CBC.

Source: Pixabay
The cat population explodes every spring when unspayed cats go into heat.


In response, the city reduced adoption fees and offered free cat licenses for a year, along with a collar, a bag of food, and toys to keep the kittens happy, wherever they may end up. Before long, potential pet parents started to arrive.

Source: Pixabay
Within 24 hours, almost all the cats at the Calgary shelter were adopted.


Less than 24 hours later, the shelter alerted the public with another notice. There were just a few cats left, and latecomers may find themselves going home alone.

Source: Pixabay
The shelter saw at least 50 cats get adopted in the span of a day.


The shelter lists a number of tips for those looking to adopt a pet. At the top of the list is an item of importance to those who may have been thinking about it for some time, but never went through with the decision: appointments are not necessary, but the animals are adopted out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Do you want to help shelter pets, but can’t bring one into your home? Here are some easy tips to follow.

  1. Be a volunteer animal transporter
  2. Find foster parents for adoptable animals
  3. Volunteer at your local shelter
  4. Donate items to your local shelter
  5. Buy items on a shelter’s wishlist
  6. Take and post photos of adoptable pets
  7. Share shelter information on social media

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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