In addition to providing the ticket home, licensing also provides the necessary resources to fund the programs needed to provide sheltering, staff, education programs, enforcement, and even a free spay and neuter programs for low-income citizens. These programs operate with no tax funding and generate all of the necessary revenue primarily through the animal-licensing programs. The education programs are focused on kindergarten through grade 6 and teach everything from humane animal treatment to bite prevention to safety around wild and domestic animals. The proactive education programs, as well as serious approaches to addressing aggressive canine behavior in communities, has reduced dog bites to less than 10 per 100,000 human population. Building a responsible pet ownership program has allowed Calgary, a city of 1.1 million people to enjoy a very high return-to-owner rate, a low euthanasia rate, low canine-aggressive incidents, and a financially sustainable program. Calgary also continues to enjoy a breedneutral community without arbitrary pet limits. Future goals for this program include increasing the return-to-owner
rates even more, reducing animal euthanasia, reducing aggressive canine incidents, and continuing to operate sustainable self-funded animal services for the community. Bill Bruce has been with the City of Calgary since 1981 and joined the Animal and Bylaw Services in 2000. Bill came into the Animal and Bylaw area with a vision of moving the focus from enforcement to a broader goal of achieving and maintaining compliance to the City’s bylaws, utilizing tools such as clear, understandable bylaws and policies, partnerships, conflict resolution techniques and public education to raise awareness and improve voluntary compliance. In the Animal Services area the focus has been to create a community of responsible pet owners in collaboration with all of the groups involved with animals in the community with specific goals to reduce the number or aggressive incidents involving dogs, increase the return to owner rates for both dogs and cats, reduce euthanasia and work towards becoming a no more homeless pets municipality. Bill is a believer in continuous improvement and is committed to improving the quality of life in the community for both people and animals.
photo courtesy of Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services
The American Dog Magazine | Fall 2011 45
MAGAZINE - FALL 2011