How Spaying or Neutering Your Cat Helps Overpopulation

Have you ever wondered if spay and neuter works to reduce pet overpopulation? The answer is a resounding yes, and we have the numbers to prove it! That’s right, we’re talking about math!




Now before you press the back button on your browser. bear with us here! An un-spayed female cat who roams and breeds regularly can have kittens approximately three times per year and will usually have between two and six kittens. For this example, let’s assume that our feline couple in this example have kittens three times per year and have four kittens per litter (the middle of the average litter range).

This means that just one pair of cats, in just one year, turn into 14 breeding cats! The next year, these 14 breeding cats each have three litters of four kittens and turn into 182 cats. The year after that, those 182 cats turn into 2366 cats. The year after that, we see an astonishing 30,758 cats… then 399,854… etc.


That, my friends, is a lot of homeless cats.


Now let’s run the same numbers, but assume half of the cats are spayed or neutered by responsible pet owners. Those numbers in the previous example now drop to: 1, 7, 49, 392 and 2744.

Now, we know that the example above is pretty simplified, and it also doesn’t take into account the high mortality rates for outdoor cats and kittens (the average lifespan for an outdoor cat is only 2-4 years and, in some locations, kitten mortality will approach 50-75%). But the question remains… how on earth does spay or neuter do so much to reduce cat overpopulation?

Well this is the wonder of exponents. By spaying or neutering one cat, you not only help protect the health of that cat (spayed or neutered cats are less likely to roam or develop cancer of their reproductive organs) but you also prevent future generations of cats who would otherwise be out and breeding. In just a few generations you can see a significant reduction in the number of unwanted felines, and the same can be shown for dogs.



Does Spay and Neuter work?


You bet it does! In Calgary, we have seen first hand how well spay and neuter works. In the 1990s, Calgary Humane Society saw the height of our animal admissions peak at over 13,000 animals per year, a majority of which were stray cats. Today? That number has fallen significantly to less than 7,500 animals per year. We have also seen a huge change in where these animals are coming from. In the 1990s, a vast majority of the animals received by CHS were stray or homeless animals found on the streets of Calgary whereas today the balance of stray vs. owner surrender is closer to 50/50. We are also seeing a lot more animals come in already spayed or neutered, which is an exciting trend!

Help I Have Lost My Pet!

In the Animal Admissions department at Calgary Humane Society, one of the biggest daily tasks is comparing hundreds of lost reports to all of the animals that come in to the shelter. Spring is the busiest time of the year for our Admissions staff and each day, Calgary Humane Society receives frantic calls from pet owners who have lost their beloved companion. While our Animal Admissions team works very hard to ensure every lost pet at CHS makes their way home safely, there are many steps that pet owners can take to ensure their pet returns to their family.



This first advice is, by far, the hardest. As scary as it is to discover your pet is missing, the most important thing you can do is remain calm. Replace your panic with a new mantra:

Stop. Think. Plan.



Stop and take a few deep breaths. Examine the situation and think about what may have happened (when was the last time you saw your pet, how long ago was that, where is your pet inclined to go etc.). Once you have some ideas, start making a plan. If your pet has been gone for a very short time, it may make sense to go looking and calling for them. If they’ve been missing for a while, here are a number of steps you can take to bring Fido or Fluffy home safe and sound:



#1 Start making lost reports.

When you call, provide as much information as you can about where and when your pet was lost and provide a good description of your pet. The following organizations are a good starting point for lost reports. Make sure to check the lost and found section of the City of Calgary and CHS website as well!

  • Calgary Humane Society Animal Admissions – 403-205-4455
  • City of Calgary Animal Services – 311
  • Post a lost listing on Kijiji/YYC Pet Recovery/Local Buy/Sell websites



#2 Check with local veterinary clinics.

Many lost pets are found by Good Samaritans and brought to local veterinary clinics.



#3 Put out your pet’s things to entice your pet home.

Put food, a favourite bed, litter box and other familiar objects out to help tempt your pet back home.



#4 Arrange a search party.

Call friends, relatives and neighbours to help search for your pet. Choose the people that your pet is most familiar and friendly with to go out and search.



#5 Create lost posters and hang them up.

Create lost posters with a picture of your pet. Include a number that you can always be reached at (like a cell phone) on the sign. Hang up the posters in the areas that you think your pet might be, concentrating on areas where lots of people will see the signs.



#6 Above all, never lose hope.

At Calgary Humane Society we have seen some amazing reunions. We have reunited pets with their family years, and even a decade after they went missing.


Wishing you all a safe and happy spring!

Bunny Moving Day

Our buns are on the move!

Join us on March 9 – 12 to celebrate the opening of our new Bunny Room. We have renovated our old rabbit cages for  brand new, bright and spacious bunny enclosures. The buns a jumping for joy in their new digs.

To help place our buns in new forever homes, we are hosting a one time adoption event:

  • Choose your own adoption fee on all rabbit adoptions
  • 20% off all critter supplies from our Pet Gear Store


Click here to see our available bunnies



Sentencing in Riverfront Aquariums Case

Calgary, AB – Immediate Release – February 28, 2017


On February 28, 2017, Riverfront Aquariums owner Michael CHOW and manager Wayne WOO were convicted of Animal Protection Act offenses. WOO was sentenced to a maximum fine of $20,000 and lifetime ban on owning animals except fish and a current dog, CHOW was sentenced to a $4,000 fine and 10 year ban except fish and one dog. Charges stem from a mass seizure on December 2, 2015 in which 333 animals were found in varying states of distress. This seizure, the second largest in Calgary Humane Society history, followed three smaller seizures and subsequent charges in the year prior to the final removal.


Brad Nichols, Senior Manager, Animal Cruelty Investigations said, “This case was unique in that neither compliance nor prior Animal Protection Act charges were effective in getting the message across to the business and its management that their general animal husbandry needed to improve significantly. What concerns me most in this case was the apathy regarding the most basic needs of the sentient creatures in their care. This landmark sentence cannot be
ignored. The maximum fine is the first in our jurisdiction and one of very few in the Province. It reflects the commercial and profit oriented aspect of the operation. The prohibition ensures the subjects will never care for the type of animals that they were never equipped or motivated to care for previously.”



Sentencing in Animal Cruelty Case

Calgary, AB – Immediate Release – February 27, 2017

On September 9, 2014, a horribly neglected dog, affectionately nicknamed “Ruby” (Bamboo), was turned in to Calgary Humane Society. Despite her condition and injuries she was very affectionate and friendly. Unfortunately “Ruby” succumbed under anesthetic for reparative surgery. Investigation by Calgary Humane Society peace officers and Calgary Police culminated in the execution of a search warrant on a Dover home and the seizure of another 7 dogs, a rabbit and 3 bearded dragons. Charges were laid against Jamie O’LEARY, Janice PIPER and Michelle CASWELL. CASWELL pleaded guilty to her part in the neglect, receiving a $1500 fine and a lifetime two altered animal limit. On February 27, 2017, O’LEARY and PIPER were each sentenced in Provincial Court to $2500 fines and lifetime prohibitions from owning animals.


Brad Nichols, Senior Manager, Animal Cruelty Investigations said, “The dog that initiated this investigation was one of the most brutally neglected I have seen in all my years doing this work. Combined with her sweet temperament, her death was heartbreaking, motivating officers from both CHS and CPS to locate those responsible and ensure accountability. Seeing this case culminate as it has today is satisfying to say the least. The sentence ensures that these individuals will not be breeding animals any longer and sends a strong message of deterrence. Medical concerns must be addressed by animal owners. Ignoring the basic needs and suffering of animals will not be tolerated.”


Ruby face

I Found A Stray Cat or Bunny. What Do I Do?

Have you ever encountered a stray cat or rabbit and were not sure what to do? There are plenty of scenarios that can lead to this animal being out in public. Maybe the animal escaped? Maybe the owner lets their pet outside? Maybe the animal is a stray who was left behind by an owner? Maybe the animal is wild?

There are numerous questions we could ask but there is a simple answer to what you should do. By following these simple steps, you will feel secure in providing a stray cat or rabbit their best chance at survival.



Foster Follow Up: Sam is settling in at home

Here is a foster follow up for an adorable pupper on the mend, Sam! His foster mama sent in this great pupdate:




Sam was SO very happy to go for a truck ride and check out a new house. He’s met my two dogs from inside his crate and all went well. I didn’t want to introduce everyone on leash today because he can get so excited. I’ll wait a day or 2 until he gets used to seeing them as part of the environment.




Sam has also seen each of my cats. My male cat thinks he’s a cat-dog! Walter, totally has a crush on him and wants to be bestest buddies.



Thank you very much for your help! I think Sam will fit nicely into our family during his stay.

We Belong Together: Adopt a Dynamic Duo

With today being the most romantic day of the year, we thought we should share a few love stories of our own. Occasionally at the shelter we would receive a bonded pair. This happens when two animals find themselves in an inseparable bond and love each other so much that they need to be adopted into the same home together. Bonded pairs provide each other comfort, companionship and confidence. If a bonded pair were to be separated they may react with anxiety.

Adopting a bonded pair often doesn’t mean twice the work. Sure, it might mean two food and water bowls or twice the litter changes, but often times a bonded pair means less work for an owner because the pair of animals entertain each other and prevent separation anxiety. Have a look at three bonded pairs that we have in the shelter today:


Meet Arwin & Kashka


Kashka (female) is very affectionate, but only on her terms. Arwin (female) is a sweetheart and loves attention. Both are seniors and patient paws.


Meet Love & Miracle


Love (male) is super sweet and super vocal! Miracle (male) is more laid back and enjoys head scratches. They are practically identical kitties! Both are seniors.


Meet Charlie & Fudge


Fudge (male) is VERY protective of Charlie (female). Both are accepting of pets, but probably not a good pair for really young children. Bunny huggers LOVE them! Charlie is a senior and both are patient paws

CTV News Pet of the Week: February 8th, 2017

In case you missed it, our adorable adoptable, Sonic, made his television debut on CTV news yesterday morning!

Accompanied by Phil Fulton and resident behaviour guru Barb Walmer, Sonic was able to display how using items laying around the house can teach a dog how to become aware of their body movements and how a calm space can help a high-arousal dog relax.

Meet Sonic. He is a big, strong and young pupper that was found stray and is currently available for adoption. Being a young fella, Sonic is a high energy dog that needs a little bit of work on his manners. He is a very social and sweet boy, as you can see from the video below, and he is looking for a new home. Could that home be yours?



To learn more about Sonic, please view his adoptable profile or call us at 403-205-4455 and visit the shelter.

Several Animals Seized During Extreme Cold Snap

Media Release – December 8, 2016

Calgary, AB — Immediate Release

With the extreme cold forecasted for the next several days, Calgary Humane Society officials are reminding pet owners to be vigilant when leaving their animals outdoors. In just the past few days, several warnings have been issued and pets have been seized due to being left outdoors without adequate food, water or shelter from the elements.

Brad Nichols, Senior Manager, Animal Cruelty Investigations said, “during the extreme temperatures we have been experiencing where the wind chill is dipping into the negative thirties, there is no excuse for leaving a pet outside without adequate protection or shelter from the cold. We have been run off our feet the last few days dealing with shelter calls as emergencies. The fact we have actually had to seize animals in these conditions is astonishing to me. We will absolutely consider prosecution in these egregious cases.”

The maximum sentence under the Animal Protection Act is a $20,000 fine and a lifetime prohibition from owning an animal.

During periods of extreme cold the best place for your pet is indoors with the exception of short periods of exercise or to do their business. Even certain breeds that are more acclimatized to cold conditions should be watched carefully and given heated water bowls and proper housing to provide relief from the wind and cold.

To report a case of animal cruelty or neglect please call 403-205-4455 or go to