Who Ya Gonna Call? The Differences Between Calgary Humane Society, Alberta SPCA and Animal Services

Calgary Humane Society is proud to be entrusted with protecting the animals in our city. It is no secret that our Protection and Investigations department is a busy team! In 2013 alone our officers responded to 1,290 phone calls and seized 314 animals from situations of cruelty, abuse, neglect and abandonment. In addition to calls regarding animals within the city, Calgary Humane Society also receives many calls that are outside of our geographical jurisdiction and legislated mandate. Today on the blog, we bring you the inside scoop on the differences between Calgary Humane Society, City of Calgary Animal Services and the Alberta SPCA.

Who ya gonna call

Calgary Humane Society’s Protection and Investigations Department is appointed by the Province of Alberta to enforce the Animal Protection Act of Alberta. Our mandate at CHS is to protect animals from people. This means that Calgary Humane Society responds to calls where animals are alleged to be suffering cruelty, abuse, neglect or abandonment but does not handle ‘nuisance animal’ issues like strays, barking or dog bites. Calgary Humane Society’s jurisdiction covers animals within the Calgary city limits, though we do occasionally offer support, in a non-enforcement capacity, outside of the city limits when requested by another agency. Calgary Humane Society Protection and Investigations officers may also respond to areas near Calgary after natural disasters, for example, our officers attended High River to help rescue animals trapped in homes after the flood.

So who handles concerns about animal cruelty, abuse and neglect outside of the city limits? We are glad you asked! Alberta SPCA is responsible for all areas of the province except for Calgary and Edmonton. This means that concerns for Okotoks, High River, Airdire, Strathmore, Cochrane and rural areas surrounding Calgary must be directed to Alberta SPCA. Similar to the Calgary Humane Society, Alberta SPCA is appointed by the province to enforce the Animal Protection Act of Alberta and employs peace officers for this purpose. Alberta SPCA also has a focus on protecting animals from people.

So if both Calgary Humane Society and Alberta SPCA protect animals from people, who protects the people from the animals? Calls about dangerous animals and nuisance animals are handled by City of Calgary Animal and Bylaw Services (CCABS). City of Calgary Animal and Bylaw Services responsibilities include enforcing city bylaws, such as the responsible pet ownership bylaw and providing services related to pet licensing for the City of Calgary. City of Calgary Animal and Bylaw Services operates the City of Calgary animal services facility where pets may be impounded if they are found running at large or if a dog or cat has bitten or seriously injured a person.

Calgary Humane Society, Alberta SPCA and City of Calgary Animal and Bylaw Services each have distinct differences, but it is not uncommon to find these organizations working together to prevent animal cruelty, abuse and neglect. At Calgary Humane Society we are proud of the collaborative relationships we have formed with other agencies. Together, we can create a future without animal cruelty.

Would you like to learn more about Calgary Humane Society’s Protection and Investigations Department? Visit the department webpage by clicking here.


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