Delta animal shelter pushes for more dog licensing

Wants to reunite more lost pets and owners.

Delta animal shelter pushes for more dog licensing

Can you guarantee that wagging tail will be there to greet you when you come home?

Lost dogs without licences may never be reunited with their owners and Delta, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Langley, New Westminster, Richmond, District of North Vancouver and Vancouver animal shelter managers have come together in an effort to prevent this from happening.  Through promotion and education of the benefits of licensing, the hope is to increase awareness and the number of dogs licensed in each district.

Statistics from the Delta Community Animal Shelter and other municipal shelters shows that an alarming amount of dogs are still not licensed within their areas.

“The issue of dog licensing is so important to the municipalities that we have come together as a collective group,” says Sarah Lowe, shelter manager for the Delta Community Animal Shelter. “Our hope is to educate the public about the importance of licensing.”

Overall statistics across the municipalities show just 25 to 70 per cent of dogs are licensed. With just a 10-per-cent increase across the board, it would eliminate a lot of dogs that are left in the shelter.

“We get about six calls a week of a licensed lost dog found by a neighbour,” says Lowe. “Because of the licence, we are able to connect them with their owner right away and the dog doesn’t even come to the shelter. We get approximately double that amount of un-licensed dogs coming into the shelter and around 20 per cent never get claimed by their owners.  This is 20 per cent more than any shelter would like to see.”

A lot of pet owners think that tattoos and microchips are solid ways to find their pets if they become lost, but often they are difficult to trace.

Unlike the local SPCA, municipal shelters operate under different bylaws and funding, thereby relying on sources like licensing. Licence funding goes back into the shelters which help municipalities provide regular care such as housing, food, training and medical care for stray and unwanted animals, provide protection for the residents from dangerous dogs, assist with animal care related issues, noise issues related to barking dogs and provide education to the public about dog specific issues.

When it comes to compliance, the City of Calgary has become the leader in licensing, with 90 per cent of dogs and 45 per cent of cats licensed in Calgary. It also has the highest return-to-owner rates in North America.

Dog owners can check with their local municipal shelter to find out more about licensing costs, penalties, renewal dates and advantages.

Information about the Delta Community Animal Shelter can be found at

Surrey North Delta Leader