Calgary Humane Society is Opening Soon

Parvovirus can be found in any areas that dogs frequent, including dog parks and neighbourhoods.

Calgary Humane Society closed its doors as a precaution to prevent the further spread of parvovirus within the facility itself but also to protect those susceptible animals in the community.

We are planning on reopening on Monday May 1, 2017

This will include our Adoptions, Reception and Pet Gear Store areas. We are making alternate arrangements for our behaviour classes. We will still not be taking in animals for the time being and are asking the public to please bring stray animals and surrenders to the City of Calgary or a nearby vet clinic.

For more answers on your parvovirus questions please see our website:

Recent parvo cases came from Alberta SPCA seizure

April 28, 2017

Calgary, AB — Immediate Release

On Monday April 24, Calgary Humane Society assisted Alberta SPCA with a large seizure from a property in Southern Alberta. The seizure involved a number of dogs, cats, rabbits and turtles.

The dogs ranged in age and breed and a sample was selected for testing for parvovirus. All of those tests came back negative. Shortly after the intake, CHS veterinarians noticed one dog displaying symptoms consistent with parvovirus and tested the dog immediately. The test came back positive. A second dog housed with the first dog was also tested and came back positive. Both dogs were at an advanced stage of the disease and were humanely euthanized at the direction of an Alberta SPCA peace officer.

A third dog that was part of the seizure has now tested positive for parvo however this dog is in the early stages of the disease and is currently being treated at an off-site clinic.

All of the dogs from the seizure were quarantined upon intake therefore the risk of the disease spreading to the rest of our animal population is low. As a further precaution, we elected to close the shelter in order to completely disinfect each area to further minimize the chance of the disease spreading to the rest of our animal population or the public. While some may feel this measure is extreme, we place a high value on the safety of our animals and those in our community. Parvovirus is very contagious and can be difficult to treat. Vaccination is the best way to prevent parvo.

Our team continues to test the isolated dogs that came in with the seizure to ensure no other cases develop. After extensive cleaning and a risk assessment we are planning to reopen our Adoptions area as well as our Store and Reception as of noon on Monday. We will continue to divert the intake of surrenders or strays to nearby vet clinics or the City of Calgary.

Calgary Humane Society Closed due to Canine Parvo Cases

April 25, 2017

Calgary, AB — Immediate Release

Calgary Humane Society has closed its doors as a precautionary measure following two positive canine parvo virus cases that came into the shelter on the afternoon of April 24. 2017.

Due to the severity of the disease, its contagious nature and the risk to the shelter’s animal population, the two dogs were humanely euthanized. All animals are being quarantined and all dogs are being monitored for symptoms of the disease.

Shelter staff are deep cleaning the entire facility to reduce the chances of the disease spreading and to ensure the safety of the public. The risk to the public is very low as these infected dogs came into the holding area of the shelter and did not come in contact with any animals in Adoptions.

The shelter is closed until further notice. We will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, if you have found a stray please bring them to your nearest veterinary clinic or the City of Calgary. If you have an animal to surrender, please either hold on to them or contact us for an appointment in the future.

We want to thank the public for their patience and understanding.


Parvo Closure and FAQ


What is happening right now at Calgary Humane Society?

We had two dogs come into our shelter on the afternoon of April 24 from out of town. One showed serious symptoms of Canine Parvovirus and when tested came back positive for the disease. The other dog that came in with the first dog was immediately tested and also came back positive for parvo. Both cases were fairly advanced and the decision was made to humanely euthanize them so they did not suffer further.

What is parvo?

Canine Parvovirus (aka “Parvo”) is a virus that can cause severe inflammation of the intestines in canines. The virus infects cells of the intestine leading to structural changes that prevent dogs from properly absorbing nutrients.

Canine parvovirus is a dangerous and extraordinarily contagious virus that spreads easily between unvaccinated dogs. If not caught early and treated aggressively parvovirus infection can be lethal.

What are the symptoms of Canine Parvovirus?

Severe vomiting and diarrhea (often bloody) and lack of appetite are common symptoms of canine parvovirus infection. Affected dogs usually develop signs of extreme lethargy (lack of energy), depression and dehydration with fever. Leukopenia (low white blood cells) can often be seen on blood work. In severe cases death can occur rapidly. Symptoms of canine parvovirus will typically develop after an incubation period of 3-10 days in infected dogs. Dog with suspected canine parvovirus exposure should be carefully monitored for symptoms.

What dogs are most at risk of Canine Parvovirus infection?

Unvaccinated dogs are at risk for canine parvovirus. Puppies and immune compromised dogs are at particular risk. Vaccinations are very effective in preventing canine parvovirus infection but puppies who have not completed their full vaccine series and newly vaccinated (vaccinated less than 10-14 days prior to exposure) may still be at risk of infection.

Is this an outbreak?

No this is not an outbreak. The disease at this point has been contained and we do not have any other animals who are exhibiting symptoms. We are continuing to deep clean, quarantine and monitor our animals to ensure this remains the case.

Don’t you vaccinate on intake?

We do however the vaccine takes at least a few days to take effect. The dogs in this case had already developed the disease and therefore the vaccine was not effective for them.

Why did you close your shelter?

As an organization we take in the most vulnerable animals, often with no information on their history or previous care therefore we closed our shelter in order to best protect the public and our animals. We have done a full deep clean of every corner of the shelter and are doing additional deep cleaning over the coming days. We have quarantined all of our animals in holding to reduce any chance of the disease spreading. This closure was mainly a precautionary measure as we take the health of our animals and the health of the public very seriously.

When will you reopen?

We have heard some confusion as to how long we will be closed. We anticipate opening within the next few days however we want to ensure the health and safety of our animals and the public’s therefore we will only open when we feel very confident it is safe to do so. We will post all of our reopening information on our website and social media.

I adopted a dog from you or attended training classes there recently, is my dog at risk?

Parvovirus is in the community and can be contracted from a dog park or on the street. The two dogs that came in with parvo were restricted to our holding area and did not have any access to our dog park, training areas or adoptions area therefore the risk to the public is minimal.

I was at the shelter yesterday, am I at risk?

The risk to any members of the public or animals in our adoptions area is very low and we are closing the shelter as a precaution. The risk to any vaccinated dogs is also extremely low however if you are concerned you are encouraged to contact your veterinarian.

How can the public help?

Right now we are asking members of the public to be patient with us as we work to clean and care for our animals. We will continue to communicate via our website and social media if we do need any additional supplies and will also let you know once we reopen to the public.

What should I do to protect my dog from parvo?

Vaccination is the best way to protect your dog from contracting parvo virus.

If l find a stray animal where should I take it? 

We will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, if you have found a stray please bring them to your nearest veterinary clinic or the City of Calgary. If you have an animal to surrender, please either hold on to them or contact us for an appointment in the future.




Update on 88 Dogs brought in from Alberta SPCA


We have had many people ask for more information about the 88 dogs we brought in from Alberta SPCA a few weeks ago. Short answer: the dogs are doing pretty well but we still have some work to do. Most of them are chihuahua or yorkie breeds and a lot of them came to us with health and behaviour issues. Many have had surgery or are undergoing behaviour enrichment and are recovering and learning in foster homes, others have already been adopted!

One thing we have noticed about these dogs is their extreme level of fear. In fact the level of fear they are displaying is not something we see every day here at Calgary Humane Society. That is why we wanted to share some tips for those looking to adopt one of these dogs or any fearful dog for that matter. (more…)

Calgary Humane Society takes in 88 dogs from Alberta SPCA seizure

Media Release – April 4, 2017


Calgary Humane Society has taken in 88 dogs following an Alberta SPCA seizure from a home in Lethbridge.
The dogs were voluntarily surrendered to Alberta SPCA by the owner. The dogs are mostly chihuahua or yorkie breeds and range in age from as young as eight weeks to seniors.


Many of the dogs require extensive medical care and are being treated by CHS veterinarians and animal health staff. Most of the dogs are also very fearful and therefore require extra support in order to feel comfortable in their new environment. Once these dogs have been assessed, receive medical treatment and have been spayed or neutered, they will be made available for adoption.


Please check our website as all available dogs will be listed on our Adoptions page. Alberta SPCA will provide any updates regarding the seizure of these dogs and its investigation.


At this time, Calgary Humane Society does not require any additional food or supplies for the care of these dogs however, monetary donations can be made by calling 403-723-6000 or online at  where a special “Lethbridge Dogs Fund” has been set up.


To donate to the Lethbridge Dogs Fund, please click here


What Does a “No-Kill Shelter” Really Mean?

Since 2013, Calgary Humane Society is proud to be one of the only open-admission animal shelters in North America able to say this simple phrase:


“At Calgary Humane Society, every single healthy and adoptable animal is able to stay until they are adopted.”


Calgary Humane Society is an open-admission shelter. This means one simple thing: We never say no. We never turn an animal away. We have many supporters ask us if this means Calgary Humane Society is a “no kill” shelter. The reality is this: If a shelter is a “no-kill” shelter, then they must turn animals away. The animals typically turned away from “no-kill” rescues are animals that are too sick or injured to be treated or too dangerous to safely be rehabilitated and placed in a home.




Calgary Humane Society is the only open-admission animal shelter serving Calgary and the surrounding area. Without our open-admission mandate, these animals would have nowhere to go. Does this mean there are sometimes difficult decisions to be made? Yes. But thanks to the generosity of our incredible community of supporters, these decisions must be made only in the most extreme of cases.


Our Services at Work

Tova came to the shelter in 2012 after she was abandoned. Tova’s previous owner had moved to Ontario and never returned for her. As admissions staff researched Tova’s past, they discovered that in just seven years Tova had been through at least five homes.

Our staff worked exhaustively with Tova in those first days. Tova had issues with other dogs, but was sweet and affectionate to people. We knew her perfect home was out there. In fact, Tova waited eight months to find her perfect home. 299 days. It was April 15, 2013 when Tova finally met her perfect family.

After an incredible 14 months at Calgary Humane Society we are happy to report that Simon, our longest-ever shelter resident, has found a great home! Simon’s new family is familiar with snakes and will continue working to get Simon familiar with regular handling.


Thanks to the ongoing support of the Calgary community, Calgary Humane Society has become one of the first and only open-admission shelters in North America that does not euthanize for time. Just a few years ago, the animal welfare world said this was an impossible dream, yet Calgary proved them wrong.


At Calgary Humane Society we are proud of who we are, and we are proud of the community that has allowed us to make history. Each year our community takes one step further towards a future where no animal is abused, neglected or abandoned. We have come a long way since 1922, and together, we will continue to make history.



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!

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your pet!



Happy St. Patrick’s Day, CHS Supporters!

We hope you are enjoying the festivities and that any visiting leprechauns have left treats instead of tricks! Today on the blog, we are talking about fun ways to bring your pet in on the festivities of the day, and why Fido shouldn’t be allowed to share your green beer.


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!