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!

An Open Letter to our Supporters

There has been some recent discussion suggesting Calgary Humane Society should not be allowed to care for the animals it seizes. That we are not empowered to alleviate an animal’s suffering. That we should not be taking animals who have been neglected.

Some have even gone so far as to suggest people shouldn’t donate to our organization. While people are certainly entitled to their opinions, we think people should be able to make up their own minds.

While we did seize 40 animals from a southwest property in January and as the investigation remains active we are limited in what we can say, we can tell you we do not hold animals for “ransom” and we do not provide unnecessary treatment.

Our job as authorized by the Government of Alberta is to protect animals under the Animal Protection Act. Whether that means providing necessary medical treatment to alleviate suffering, finding them a home where they can live safely or seizing an animal whose owner has failed to help them.

This case is far from over and charges are pending against several people in relation to the property in which animals were seized. While some claim they were merely “caught up” in this case, we can confirm that claim is false. As our investigation progresses, we promise to update you with as many details as possible.

In the meantime we ask you to remember, we are a not for profit organization with almost 5,000 animals a year who rely on donor dollars to fund their care, medical treatment, behaviour support and protection.

While we can’t share specifics on this case as it would directly jeopardize the animals in our care, we can tell you for 95 years we have been helping animals in this community and we have no plans to stop.




CHS Responds to Confusion Over Recent Media Story

We have received several calls from members of the public regarding a recent Post Media story about a gentleman by the name of Mike Murphy claiming he and his dog Tilly are ‘caught up’ in his landlord’s animal neglect investigation. This is an ongoing investigation which limits what we can say, however we are able to say this claim is completely false.

Charges are pending against anyone responsible for animals in relation to this property and we will be in a position to go public with charges in the next couple of weeks. While we know it is difficult to see stories such as this, please know Calgary Humane Society only treats animals that are seized in order to relieve their distress and does not do elective or cosmetic procedures on them. While costs for these emergency treatments can sometimes be costly, Calgary Humane Society is also not able to provide free or even discounted medical treatment as it could jeopardize our license and ability to operate. These medical bills, in most cases, are the result failure of the owner to provide the necessary care, which is a criminal offense.

We thank you for your patience while we work to complete this investigation.  We urge the public to reserve judgement until the file resolves.  We cannot try these cases in the media, which sometimes put us at a disadvantage in public perception.

Calgary Humane Society Seizes 40 Animals in Distress

On Tuesday January 23, 2018, Calgary Humane Society’s Protection and Investigations team executed an Animal Protection Act warrant on a large rural property in southwest Calgary. With the assistance of Calgary Police Service as well as a number of supporting agencies, the warrant did culminate in the seizure of 40 animals in distress including dogs, cats, birds and reptiles. As this remains an active investigation, details of the operation are limited.


Pop-up Cat Cafe

Want to find out how a cup of coffee can make a difference in the life of a homeless animal?


You could almost say that the shelter runs on coffee… which is why we are so happy to be partnering with the good folks over at Rosso Coffee Roasters to bring you our first ever Pop-up Cat Cafe Event! Rosso will be bringing their mobile coffee shop on Saturday January 13th, 2018. They will be serving up fresh brewed lattes and drip coffee for a donation, with all proceeds going towards the animals in our care. (more…)

How to Stuff-A-Pooch Pad

Stuffing a pooch pad is a lot of hard work! This year we are trying to stuff three pooch pads; the highest goal we have ever set but a monumental accomplishment we think can be achieved with your help.

Lets have a quick look at what exactly a pooch pad is.

A pooch pad is the enclosure used in our shelter for housing our canine friends during their stay at CHS. It is their home away from home and we do our best to make their stay safe and comfortable. We provide every dog a bed to sleep on, food to eat, water to drink and toys to play with. If you have visited our shelter, you have likely seen our pooch pads and visited some our adorable adoptables.


Charges Related to Dog Tethered to Flatbed Trailer

Immediate Release – November 14, 2017

On October 28, 2017, a photo of a dog tethered to a flatbed trailer being hauled through Calgary began circulating on social media. A joint investigation into the welfare of the dog was initiated shortly afterwards by Calgary Police Service, with support from Calgary Humane Society and Rocky View County.

On November 11, 2017, the dog’s owner, Volodymyr IRODENKO of Rocky View was charged under municipal, provincial and federal legislation for offenses ranging from causing an animal to be in distress, to transporting an animal outside the cab of a vehicle.

Brad Nichols, Senior Manager, Animal Cruelty Investigations said, “Transporting dogs in the beds of trucks can be incredibly dangerous to the dog, between exposure to extreme weather and the risk of falling. This offense is aggravated by the manner in which this dog was being transported, on a flatbed with no side rails to keep him on the trailer. We are very lucky, in Calgary, to have agencies that can work together so effectively to ensure the well being of animals and accountability for reckless owners.”

Calgary Humane Society and CPS spokespersons will be available for comment at 11:00 AM at Calgary Humane Society: 4455 110 Avenue SE.

Meow-ga and Wine! 

A new fitness experience is taking the world by storm. It’s called MEOW-GA (it’s like regular yoga but with cats!). We decided to take two incredible things like kittens and yoga to create the ultimate exercise and relaxation experience. But that’s not all! This unique spin on meow-ga will offer complimentary wine and cheese after the class is finished and a shelter tour to add a little splash to your weekend.


  • Did you know that Western science is starting to provide some concrete clues as to how yoga works to improve health, heal aches and pains, and keep sickness at bay.
  • Did you know that when conducting a task that’s stressful, people actually experienced less stress when their pets were with them than when a supportive friend or even their spouse was present!


The class itself will be a 60 minute All-Level Restorative yoga class taught by Allison Smithdorf followed by an hour to enjoy wine, snacks and a tour of Calgary Humane Society. 100% of proceeds will go to the animals! 

Classes will be limited to 15 people. Due to the high level of interest, it is suggested that you register immediately to avoid F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out).


Look at how much fun we had when we hosted Calgary Stampeders Wide Receiver, Reggie Begelton, for a meow-ga session!


Cat yoga will be held on….

Upcoming Meow-ga sessions

February 16th (SOLD OUT) 

March 16th (SOLD OUT) 

April 13th (SOLD OUT) 

Additional Information:

  • Participants must bring their own mats
  • Participants must be 16 or older to attend class
  • Must be 18 or older to consume alcohol (with valid ID)
  • Long pants are strongly recommended (those claws are sharp!)

Calgary Humane Society over capacity with latest seizure

**ATTENTION: Seizure Update – Monday October 16, 2017**

A big thank you to everyone for your support and interest in the 58 animals we took in from a mass seizure on October 5.


Just a quick reminder that all animals coming into our shelter receive medical and behaviour assessments before becoming available for adoption. As with most large intakes or mass seizures, this process can take some time and the animals that you would have seen on the media are currently in our holding wing or in foster homes. Some of these animals may need surgeries or additional medical treatments and will not be available until those are completed. Please keep an eye on our website for the most up-to-date information on animals that are available for adoption.

If you are looking for ways to help please consider making a donation to the care and treatment of these animals click here or apply to become a foster parent click here.

Thank you.



On Thursday, October 5, 2017, Calgary Humane Society Peace Officers executed a mass seizure of 53 dogs, three cats and two turtles from a home in northeast Calgary. The animals were found to be in distress as a result of unsanitary conditions and various medical concerns.

This particular seizure, which remains under investigation and limits details which can be shared, continues a recent trend of mass intakes at Calgary Humane Society. Over 309 animals, including the dogs, cats and turtles mentioned above, have been admitted to the facility over the past two weeks versus 205 animals during the same time period last year and has filled all available kennel space beyond capacity. In addition, many of these animals will require ongoing medical care and behavioural support.


Carrie Fritz, Executive Director for Calgary Humane Society said, “This volume of animals in such a short period of time is unusual however is definitely not unheard of. This team is incredibly experienced and skilled at caring for this number of animals and we also have a large group of dedicated volunteers and foster parents we can lean on, who are invaluable.”


These intakes come just as Calgary Humane Society prepares for one of its largest fundraising events of the year, Cocktails for Critters being held Saturday October 14 at the Westin Calgary.


“What we are asking for from the Calgary community now is patience as a plan is put into place for each animal. Support, in the form of donations is always greatly appreciated during these times to help cover the cost of care and the public can also help by volunteering, fostering and adopting! If ever you were thinking of becoming a Calgary Humane Society donor, foster parent, volunteer, or adopter, now would be a great time to contact us!” said Fritz.


Public’s Help Needed Identifying Puppy Abandoned in Dumpster (Warning: Graphic)


On October 10, 2017, Calgary Humane Society Peace Officers responded to an animal cruelty complaint near Anderson Road and 24 Street SW, Calgary, Alberta. At approximately 6AM, a female, mixed breed puppy, white in colour with faint grey spots, approximately 8 to 10 weeks of age, was found abandoned in a garbage dumpster.

The puppy was found alive but in severe medical distress and may have been suffering in the dumpster for as long as 48 hours. At the direction of veterinarians she was humanely euthanized to end her suffering.

Brad Nichols, Senior Manager, Animal Cruelty Investigations said, “Regardless of the source of this dog’s catastrophic injuries, discarding this visibly injured puppy in a dumpster was a callous criminal act. This puppy deserves justice and we hope the public can help us serve just that by providing information toward the identity of the individual responsible.”


Peace Officers are seeking the assistance of the public regarding:
• Suspicious activity in the area between October 8-10
• Identity of the dog, possibly a Labrador/Australian Cattle dog cross
• Identity of the owner or discarding party


Anyone with relevant information should contact Calgary Humane Society at (403) 205-4455, referencing file number 25613C.