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Annual Report 2012 | contact 311

Onward/ By 2020, Calgary communities are resilient, complete and connected.

Contents Message from the general manager Message from the director Who we are What we Do WHY we Do It HOW we Do It What’s Next

2 3 4 10 18 22 30

Message from the general manager Dear Council, citizens and City colleagues, Ensuring Calgary is a socially inclusive, liveable and sustainable city is at the heart of all we do. We take great pride in serving Calgarians and we work hard to continually improve quality of life in our city in partnership with community agencies, community and social recreation associations, civic partners as well as a network of provincial and federal emergency management agencies. 2012 was a busy and exciting year for Community Services & Protective Services. We began the year with Recreation centennial celebrations. Dubbed Rec100, we celebrated each month with a theme and fun-filled activities. Another highlight was Calgary’s designation as Cultural Capital of Canada, affirming Calgary as a city enriched by diversity. The Multi-Agency School Support Team (MASST) expanded in 2012. This innovative partnership with Calgary Police Service, Community & Neighbourhood Services and school boards, provides early intervention services to elementaryage children exhibiting high-risk behaviour or victimization that may lead to criminal involvement. Additionally, we received a commitment from Council through Fair Calgary to initiate work on a single point of entry system for eligibility and access to all low-income programs and services offered by The City. More than 160,000 Calgarians attended Canada Day celebrations which included events connected along Olympic Plaza, Prince’s Island Park, RiverWalk, Riverfront Avenue to East Village and Fort Calgary. And 16,500 citizens voiced their opinions over a sixmonth period on what matters most to them about their library and what a 21st century library should be. This input is now being used to guide the next phase of work for the new Central Library.


Calgary recreation Department | Annual Report 2012

Recognizing the need for capital projects to address city growth as well as lifecycle needs of existing facilities, we celebrated the grand opening of the Genesis Wellness Centre and the reopening of Calgary’s only indoor public park, Devonian Gardens, following an extensive renovation. Funding for four new recreation centres was secured and the Community Investment Fund supported numerous projects including Bowness Park, Shouldice Aquatic Centre, Optimist Park, tree planting and playground replacements. The Calgary Fire Department opened two fire stations, and the new Emergency Operations Centre also opened, housing the Calgary Emergency Management Agency and the Public Safety Communications (9-1-1) backup centre. All of this work supports what citizens believe to be important: a family-friendly city, quality service, help for those in need and investment in community infrastructure. These are things that contribute to bettering neighbourhoods and creating a city in which we all want to work, live and play. Calgary is a better place because employees and partners of the Community Services & Protective Services department care about citizens, our community and one another.

Erika Hargesheimer General Manager Community Services & Protective Services The City of Calgary

Message from the director On behalf of the 98 peace and bylaw officers and 36 civilian staff of Animal & Bylaw Services, it is my pleasure to present the 2012 Annual Report. Animal & Bylaw Services encourages safe, healthy, vibrant communities for people and their pets through the development, education and compliance of bylaws that reflect community values. The services we provide are designed to support complete communities with a focus on health, safety and protection of property and the environment. Everything we do is driven by citizen needs and guided by Council priorities and Administrative strategic business plans. While the scope of our work is extensive, integrated throughout this report are three recurring themes: • Enhancing connection to community.

As we look forward to 2013, ABS remains committed to developing new connection points for citizens in the community, and finding new and innovative ways to streamline service delivery. We will continue to support community-based projects with the goal of creating meaningful, positive change at the neighbourhood level. And we will remain responsive to citizen needs based on citizen input and feedback. This annual report demonstrates Animal & Bylaw Services’ successes and accountability; successes made possible by our dedicated and committed staff, our partnerships across The City and beyond, and the input and support of our communities. Collectively, we have made a difference toward bettering our neighbourhoods and ensuring Calgary remains a great place to live.

• Citizen-centric service delivery. • Encouraging safe behaviours. We believe that connection to community has a direct parallel to community values that foster and promote good neighbours. Our job is to meet citizen needs and offer our programs and services in ways that are easily accessible. And we know that education encourages compliance, which is why we always stress compliance prior to enforcement.

Tracy Bertsch Director, Animal & Bylaw Services

Messages from the general manager and director


Who we are

4 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

Animal & Bylaw Services encourages safe, healthy, vibrant communities for people and their pets through the development, education and compliance of bylaws that reflect community values.

Our 98 peace and bylaw officers, and 36 civilian staff take great pride in responding to the needs of citizens and maintaining our reputation as a leader in Responsible Pet Ownership and Community Standards practices across North America. Our employees strive to deliver quality service to Calgarians, and to demonstrate The City’s core values by being accessible, accountable, transparent and responsive. Animal & Bylaw Services uses a co-operative process to establish and maintain community standards in partnership with Calgarians. We respond to neighbourhood concerns and work with residents and communities to mediate their issues. We believe in compliance prior to enforcement and put considerable effort into public education programs and outreach initiatives.

Lines of business: • Operations: responding to citizen concerns in respect to matters regulated through municipal bylaws and provincial statutes. • Administration and Shelter Operations: providing pet licensing, animal care and adoption services. • Policy Development and Public Education: developing bylaws and public education programs. • Strategic Services: working with external partners to deliver efficient and effective programs and services. • Community Relations and Crime Prevention: engaging communities and working in collaboration with partners to provide crime prevention and safety initiatives.

Who we are


VISION: To be recognized as world leaders in animal control, bylaw development and compliance. MISSION: To encourage a safe, healthy, vibrant community for people and pets through the development, education and compliance of bylaws that reflect community values.

Animal & Bylaw Services’ operations are guided by Council policies and priorities, the Community Services & Protective Services Business Plan, as well as our own business plans, policies, operational guidelines and procedures. Accordingly, we are committed to: • Fostering great public spaces and programs that enrich the lives of Calgarians and make Calgary an attractive, liveable city.

MANDATE: Focus on compliance with Calgary’s bylaws through education and programs to support citizens and the community.

• Encouraging active, creative and healthy lifestyles, and promoting a positive physical and social environment.

Manage an animal shelter and provide animal control services.

• Fostering a community that cares.

Ensure compliance with the community’s bylaws.

• Providing and promoting public safety. • Providing services that residents value and rely upon. • Building and strengthening partnerships to meet community needs.


of calls for service in 2012 were resolved through compliance rather than enforcement

6 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

Our people Our employees are animal lovers. This is demonstrated through our lunchtime dog walking exercise program where staff provide physical stimulation and socialization for adoptable dogs. Our staff is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of the animals that come into our care. Many of our employees volunteer personal time to provide adoptable cats and dogs with the human contact they crave and require. Occasionally, some even foster special needs animals in their homes. Our employees are also part of the community. They bring an understanding of needs and concerns from a citizen perspective and value their role in supporting healthy neighbourhoods. Whether it’s timely removal of snow and ice from public sidewalks, or respecting a neighbour’s tolerance for noise, ABS employees understand the importance of finding a reasonable balance that leads to peaceful resolutions to conflict.

More than


of priority calls were resolved in less than 24 hours

Who we are


Our workforce Animal & Bylaw Services’ employees bring a wealth of experience and a variety of skills to their jobs. We have a total of 134 full-time equivalent positions; 98 belong to uniformed officers and 36 are civilian positions. Employee health and wellness is a priority. We encourage active, healthy lifestyles through our bike and foot patrols. We encourage and support our employees to take part in both corporate and non-corporate fitness opportunities. Continuous learning Animal & Bylaw Services is committed to providing employees with quality training and learning opportunities. We also value our partnerships with animal and bylaw service providers in other jurisdictions, and take pride in our ability to share our expertise with them. In 2012, we provided canine behavioural field training to service providers and partners including ENMAX, ATCO, Canada Post and the Calgary Police Service.

I was kind of blown away. I didn’t realize that I would get a call back.

– Citizen when asked about satisfaction with service from ABS

8 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

Our officers are required to complete bylaw and peace officer training in accordance with standards established through the office of the Solicitor General. They also must qualify and maintain their certification in animal behaviour and control, traffic control, defensive tactics, emergency vehicle operations as well as general officer training. In 2012, 750 participants from Animal & Bylaw Services, Fire, Police and other City or external agencies, completed training in courses facilitated or directly provided by Animal & Bylaw Services.

Employee satisfaction The annual corporate Employee Satisfaction Survey provides a measure of how each business unit in The Corporation is doing in terms of providing a healthy, productive, safe and engaging workplace. The results are but one tool that provides management with information on how employees feel about their work environment and identifies opportunities for improvements. Our management team is committed to finding ways to ensure our employees have the opportunities to achieve strong satisfaction from their work in the community as well as continually supporting front line officers in advancing their skills. Cross-training between animal and community bylaw fields of expertise is under way. Employees also acquire new skills from their work with other city colleagues. For example, our specialized “Water Team� works side by side in Water Services to support field personnel in their daily work and to assist in bylaw compliance.

Employee Satisfaction Index, 2011-2012 117.4

120 100




full-time equivalent positions: 98 uniformed officers 36 civilians

60 40 20 0



Who we are


What we Do

10 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

Animal & Bylaw Services works with citizens to help resolve concerns through education and compliance, fostering and promoting peaceful relationships between Calgarians.

Bylaws serve two purposes: • They establish a framework for acceptable community standards. • They create a reasonable process to achieve compliance. Bylaws are established at the direction of City Council. Meaningful engagement with citizens is critical to the development of a bylaw. Calgarians have told us they want a safe and orderly city. Through community engagement efforts, and knowledge gained from working directly with citizens, we understand what drives citizen perceptions of safety. We use this information to develop initiatives and programs that establish appropriate standards and ensure Calgary maintains its reputation as a great place to live, work, play and visit. The Community Standards Bylaw reflects what Calgarians have said they want to see in their city in terms of acceptable standards and behaviours on private property. Often referred to as the Good Neighbour Bylaw, it provides practical guidelines for citizens to live together peacefully and respectfully in their own neighbourhoods. Bylaw officers work with property owners and complainants to mediate various community-based concerns (e.g. unsightly premises, noise, nuisances, accumulation of materials, weeds and grasses, and snow and ice). Providing an easy-to-follow path to compliance rather than simply enforcing the law leads to a better understanding of the rules, and consequently supports strong, healthy communities.

In 2012, ABS co-ordinated 78 community cleanups and responded to over 6,600 snow and ice concerns What We Do


 hank you for all your help T removing graffiti. Dealing with your agency can be described as ‘brilliant service’ ... because I know action is happening on these requests. I am so happy to live in a city that offers this important program.

– Citizen compliment

Graffiti Calgarians continue to emphasize their desire for a clean and safe city. We know perceptions of safety are challenged by the presence of graffiti and vandalism. A Joint Graffiti Investigative Team was formed in January 2012. The team includes officers from Animal & Bylaw Services, the Calgary Police Service and Calgary Transit working together in a coordinated approach to prosecute graffiti vandals operating across the city. This team has had a busy and productive first year, laying 235 charges against 14 offenders. Animal & Bylaw Services administers the Corporate Co-ordinated Graffiti Abatement Program (CCGAP), which provides assistance to victims of graffiti that apply for help. Under CCGAP, Animal & Bylaw Services and Parks have combined resources to achieve significant cost and time efficiencies in the removal of graffiti from private property and Parks’ assets. All Calgarians benefit from CCGAP since research indicates the faster graffiti is removed, the less likely additional graffiti is to appear. In 2012, the CCGAP team removed 275,000 square feet of graffiti from private property and Parks assets along with an additional 95,000 square feet from other areas. This is a significant increase from 2011, due in part to a partnership with Roads.

370,000 Square feet of graffiti removed

12 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

Community Cleanup Animal & Bylaw Services supports and provides funding for community-led public safety initiatives through the Community Standards Fund. Our Community Cleanup program, which we implement in partnership with our colleagues in Waste & Recycling Services, has been very successful. Community Cleanups are just one way Animal & Bylaw Services works with Calgarians to build strong communities and promote safe, clean neighbourhoods. Feedback from community participants underscores the importance of continuing this program. Community Cleanups make it easier for all members of the community to address litter and untidy spaces. Community Association leaders tell us a key reason they support this program is because it helps create a lasting sense of community pride and spirit. Citizen demand for the program increases every year.

N City of Calgary community cleanups Communities that participated in community cleanups


communities organized volunteers to clean up their own neighbourhoods

What We Do


Setting the standard Communities that participate directly in setting standards are much more likely to maintain them. The success of Animal & Bylaw Services’ South East Project Team illustrates this principle. Created in direct response to feedback from business owners, property owners and community leaders, the South East Project Team conducts proactive enforcement work throughout various southeast communities. In November 2012, the team canvassed an entire neighbourhood street by street, identifying 206 infractions, most of which fell under the Community Standards Bylaw. By working with community members, 93 per cent of these infractions were cleared without penalty. Area residents and property and business owners expressed satisfaction with the results, noting a marked improvement in the neighbourhood.


Kilograms of unwanted material removed


of community standards bylaw infractions were cleared without penalty

14 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

Centre City The Centre City Team consists of 29 staff dedicated to addressing crime and social disorder in the downtown core. High-visibility foot and bike patrols work with residents, business owners and community associations to address issues and concerns. It’s a deployment model that allows our officers to be more responsive to emerging trends and to ultimately improve the quality of life in the inner city.

In addition to Alpha House, Animal & Bylaw Services collaborates with the Calgary Homeless Foundation, Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS), the Downtown Outreach Addiction Partnership Team, the Calgary Police Service and various other social agencies to transition these individuals into permanent housing and the provision of basic services.

Bylaw officers with the Centre City Team are often a first point of contact for vulnerable persons in our community. They dedicate considerable time and resources to identifying, assessing and referring homeless individuals in illegal encampments and connecting these individuals with available resources through the Partner Agency Liaison Team (PAL). We’ve found the most effective way to support people who are sleeping in the streets or in parks is to connect them with agencies and available resources. In 2012, one of our partners, Alpha House, reported that 80 of the 127 vulnerable people they’ve housed since 2010 were referred by bylaw officers. In 2012, one of those people was a man found sleeping on a truss under the Centre Street Bridge. A bylaw officer with the PAL team talked him down and helped him enter a detox program offered at Alpha House. He responded well and later qualified for housing through the agency and is now living a very different life.

What We Do


Bike patrols Animal & Bylaw Services deployed bike teams on pathways. Their role included setting up speed traps at congested areas. This approach has been effective in gaining compliance with the Parks and Pathways Bylaw, and has helped to ensure the safety of all pathway users. Officers educate park and pathway users on a number of everyday issues, including appropriate speeds for cyclists and inline skaters, the use of bike bells when passing, off-leash dog rules, the importance of wearing life jackets while on the river, and illegal alcohol consumption. The goal is to create safe spaces that everyone can enjoy through a balance of education and enforcement.

In 2012, we added a third team to the mountain bike unit for a total of six dedicated officers who completed nearly 3,400 patrols of the parks and pathways in the downtown core and surrounding areas. Our bike patrols area is also involved in festivals, special events and other projects including the Calgary Folk Festival, Lilac Fest and Canada Day festivities. The continued presence and visibility of the bike patrols encourages compliance. Our officers found that 92 per cent of citizens they encountered were following the rules or quickly complied once warned by an officer. The unit issued nearly 300 court summonses for bylaw infractions that included speeding, illegal alcohol consumption and not wearing a life jacket.


Patrols of parks and pathways in the downtown core and surrounding areas

16 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

Operation DEEP Animal & Bylaw Services also promotes a positive physical and social environment through our continued involvement with the Safe Housing Inspection Program, the Public Safety Task Force, and Operation DEEP (Downtown Entertainment Enforcement Project). For example, during November and December of 2012, Operation DEEP conducted 200 proactive late night checks of licensed establishments in the downtown core to check for compliance with the noise/outdoor speaker provisions of the Community Standards Bylaw. Written warnings were issued and charges laid in several cases. Dilapidated vehicles Animal & Bylaw Services conducted a campaign targeting dilapidated vehicles. When property owners were issued proactive remedial orders, bylaw officers saw a compliance rate of 96.3 per cent, meaning that most of the vehicles were removed from sight and very few cases required further corrective action.


Illegal signs were removed by bylaw officers

Illegal temporary signs Animal & Bylaw Services initiated a city-wide campaign to target and remove illegal temporary signs. Implications to public safety are the main concern around illegally placed signs. Improperly placed signs can impede visibility for motorists and pedestrians and cause related traffic hazards. By the end of October, bylaw officers had removed 6,500 illegal signs. Bylaw officers work to educate individuals and companies on the proper placement and size of temporary signs.

What We Do


WHY we Do It

18 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

Our philosophy stresses compliance over enforcement. We do this by working with the community to educate the public on the community standards that Calgarians have set for themselves.

In 2012, 98 per cent of bylaw calls and 92 per cent of animal calls were successfully resolved through compliance rather than strict enforcement options. River safety We’ve made great strides in educating citizens on river safety while rafting or boating on Calgary’s rivers. In 2012, water safety violations on the Elbow River dropped as much as 90 per cent (compared to 2011), thanks in part to our Webfoot program, a partnership with the Calgary Police Service. On the Bow River, where we work with our partners in the Fire Department under the BEST program, we found that 96 per cent of rafters were wearing life jackets or personal floatation devices; up from 89 per cent in 2011.

fines ranging up to $10,000 for each charge, and may impose strict conditions for the pet owner, including mandatory obedience training, muzzling the dog in public, prohibiting minors from walking the dog, and requiring notification at the property that a vicious dog resides there. In the most serious cases involving public safety, euthanization of the animal can be ordered. Aggressive incidents are still very rare, with about 18 reported dog bites per 100,000 people in the city. Animal & Bylaw Services began categorizing levels of dog aggression in 2009 to better reflect severity of the incident. Levels 1 and 2 are incidents of dog aggression. Levels 3 to 6 are incidents of dog bites.

Bylaw officers made contact with more than 4,100 boaters and rafters, handing out educational information and ensuring life jackets were being worn. Our officers enforce the Water Safety Bylaw, as well as the Provincial statutes against having open liquor in public. The goal is to improve safety and reduce illegal activity on Calgary’s waterways.

Level 1: Obnoxious, aggressive or threatening behaviour but no skin contact by teeth.

Responsible pet ownership Since 2009, enhanced public education efforts have encouraged citizens to be more diligent about reporting incidents. Closer working relationships between Animal & Bylaw Services, the Calgary Police Service and Alberta Health Services EMS have raised awareness of dog bite incidents.

Level 4: Two to four punctures from a single bite. Considerable bruising, tearing or slashing wound. Often the result of a dog clamping and holding or shaking side to side.

When an aggressive animal incident does occur, it is referred to our case management team made up of investigators and trained animal behaviouralists with Animal & Bylaw Services, as well as a prosecutor from The City of Calgary Law Department. This team reviews all aggressive animal files and issues a mandatory court appearance in serious cases. A judge can impose

Level 6: Death of an animal caused by another animal.

Level 2: Skin contact by teeth but no skin puncture. May have minor scratches. Level 3: One to three punctures from a single bite. No tearing but may have some bruising.

Level 5: Multiple two- to four-puncture bites. Concerted, repeated attack causing severe injury.

Dog bite reporting (level 3 and higher), City of Calgary, 2009-2012 Year

Calgary population

Reported dog bites

Dog bite charges laid

















Why We Do it


The City’s approach to responsible pet ownership places the onus on pet owners to properly socialize and train their dogs. It is a philosophy that’s being emulated across North America. Embedded in the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw are legislative tools that allow us to intervene at the earliest signs of aggression in dogs to help owners to correct the behaviour. We offer education about responsible pet ownership, a licensing program, and obedience training through our partners. The last four years have seen an increase in the number of reported dog bites as well as the number of charges laid. In 2012, 201 dog bites were reported and 132 dog bite charges were laid. All dogs can and may bite. A dog’s behaviour is determined by the training and leadership provided by the owner and the owner will be held responsible. We always strongly encourage the owners of aggressive dogs to contact the Calgary Humane Society or a certified dog trainer to help resolve aggression issues.

20 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

Member, Calgary Emergency Management Agency Bylaw officers work in tandem with their partners in protective and emergency services to ensure the safety of all citizens. As a partner in the Municipal Emergency Management Plan, our officers can be called in to assist any time it is deemed necessary to close roads or conduct emergency traffic control duties as well as help search and care for displaced animals in an evacuation setting. On two occasions this year when severe windstorms created a large scale emergency in the downtown core, our officers were deployed to assist in the core shutdown and evacuation, directing pedestrians and vehicles away from dangerous zones. On March 13, part of the downtown core was closed due to a windstorm that had dislodged material from a highrise. Fourteen bylaw officers assisted in directing traffic and closing sidewalks while the Fire Department’s high angle team worked to secure material that threatened to fall from an office tower. Then, on May 17, eight officers were dispatched to secure vehicle and pedestrian traffic while Fire crews removed hazards from an apartment building following damage caused by another wind storm.

Derelict and abandoned properties Derelict and abandoned properties can pose a real health and safety risk to neighbours and can have a detrimental impact on the community as a whole. Living near a derelict property where illegal activity is occurring can influence perceptions of safety and have a negative impact on the quality of life in the community. Bylaw Services is part of The City’s Co-ordinated Safety Response Team, which also includes the Calgary Police Service, The City’s Building Regulations – Safety Response Unit, Alberta Health Services, and the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team. This team works with other stakeholders, including the Calgary Fire Department, to identify and remedy delinquent properties. In 2012, 20 properties were demolished with another eight pending action at year-end.

Animal & Bylaw Services launched an adult English as a Second Language (ESL) bylaw education program in 2012, with presentations to several groups through the Calgary Immigrant Education Society and the Centre for Newcomers. There have been many requests for this new program which will continue to expand with the help of our partners. Animal & Bylaw Services is pleased to continue to lead and organize the annual Safety Expo. In 2012, more than 3,100 students from 48 schools attended the two-day event that promoted the practice of safety at home, school, work and play.

More than


Students from 48 schools attended the 2012 safety Expo

Public education Our Public Education Team was very busy in 2012. They delivered 385 presentations to more than 9,200 elementary and junior high students. Of those, 24 presentations were conducted in French reaching over 480 students. At these presentations, students learn about safety, responsible citizenship and pet ownership. Our Public Education Team also attended numerous career fairs, trade shows, and cat and dog shows/expos in 2012. Leading the animal socialization volunteer program at the Animal Services Centre, the Public Education team expanded opportunities to offer shortterm and one-time volunteer experiences. Team members also provide educational tours of the shelter to visitors, student groups and adult groups from various organizations.

Why We Do it


HOW we Do It

22 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

We are constantly looking at ways to improve our services and broaden our reach to include all Calgarians. We are proud of our reputation as a leader in animal and bylaw services in North America.

No Cost Spay/Neuter Program The No Cost Spay/Neuter Program continued in 2012, offering eligible low-income Calgarians the chance to realize the benefits of spaying and neutering their pets. In 2012, 611 animals went through this program (299 cats and 312 dogs). All Calgarians benefit from the program as it reduces the number of unwanted cats and dogs in the community. The program also reduces the number of strays on the streets and the amount of resources required to deal with the increasing number of animals coming into our shelter and our partners’ shelters.

 he animal services staff T person was awesome. She made the adoption process amazing. It was really appreciated.

Adopt-A-Thon In August, our cat shelter was nearing capacity for both cats and dogs. We decided to address this issue by hosting an Adopt-A-Thon over one weekend with the goal of finding forever homes for our residents. Over the course of three days, 64 animals (41 cats, 23 dogs) found caring companions and moved to their forever homes at reduced rates. Positive changes to the adoption process In 2012, we introduced a variety of changes to simplify the adoption process, including eliminating wait lists for meetings with adoptable dogs. All visits are now on a first-come, first-meet basis to minimize the number of days adoptable animals have to stay in the facility. We strongly encourage hopeful adoptive families to come down with all current pets and people residing in the home to spend 45 minutes to an hour with the adoptable pet of their choice to ensure it’s an appropriate match.

– Citizen when asked about satisfaction with service from ABS


animals treated since the No Cost Spay/Neuter Program began in 2010.

How We Do it


Drive Home program In an effort to reunite lost pets with their owners, we’ve continued our popular Drive Home program. Animal Services officers who secure pets running at large will attempt to contact owners as soon as an animal is picked up. If successful, the animal will be driven home the same day, often within hours, rather than being transported to our shelter. Our officers drove 1,185 pets directly home in 2012, eliminating the need for pet owners to come to the Animal Services Centre to claim their pets, and decreasing Animal & Bylaw Services’ shelter expenses. The Seniors for Seniors program The Seniors for Seniors program launched in 2012, providing a significant discount for persons 60 years of age and over to adopt mature pets aged seven years and up. It’s a great opportunity for older pets to find loving forever homes, and for adopting seniors to reap the benefits of exercise, socialization and companionship.

24 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

Upgrade to Calgary Pets Mobile App In October, we launched an extensive upgrade to the free City of Calgary Pets Mobile App for smart phones and mobile devices. The upgrade includes a convenient interactive map showing the locations of all Calgary’s off-leash areas, emergency veterinary clinics across the city, the Animal Services Centre and the Calgary Humane Society for pet adoption. The app lets people view photos of adoptable cats and dogs and then share the images on Facebook and Twitter. Volunteer program Animal & Bylaw Services expanded its volunteer program to encourage visits to the Animal Services Centre. Organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club and Alpha House have taken advantage of the opportunity to become better acquainted with the facility and animal adoption process. Deceased cat and dog identification initiative In 2012, Animal & Bylaw Services continued its partnership with Roads on a deceased cat and dog identification initiative which launched in 2011. Roads workers deliver the remains of cats and dogs found on city streets to the Animal Services facility. Our animal health technicians attempt to notify owners through licence tags, tattoos and/or microchips on the animals. This program provides owners with some closure and the opportunity to make private arrangements for their beloved pets.

Pet licensing In 2012, the number of licensed dogs and cats in Calgary declined slightly, but remains higher than most other jurisdictions in North America. There were 108,688 dogs and almost 48,279 cats licensed in our city. Our cat licensing program has grown each year, with revenues from licensing funding the on-site spay/neuter clinic and support services for cats in the city. Licensing allows pets to be returned to their owners faster, and reduces euthanization rates. Calgary has one of the highest return to owner and lowest euthanization rates in North America. Animal care In 2012, Animal Services officers took in and cared for 3,971 dogs and 1,053 cats. We have a 95 per cent live release rate for dogs and an 80 per cent live release rate for cats. 84 per cent of the dogs that came into our shelter, and 47 per cent of cats, were returned safely to their owners. Another 8 per cent of dogs and 25 per cent of cats were adopted out to new homes and families.

48,279 Cats licensed In Calgary

108,688 Dogs licensed In Calgary

How We Do it


Removing barriers to adoption In keeping with our Responsible Pet Ownership philosophy, all adoptable dogs and cats are spayed or neutered prior to being put up for adoption. This year, to ensure adoptability of the animals in our care, the clinic performed 1,090 spay/neuters and 244 other operations varying in complexity from dental surgeries to amputations. By treating medical issues and providing dental care prior to adoption, we are able to eliminate a number of barriers to adopting unclaimed animals in our shelters. This translates into quicker adoption times and ultimately less stress for the animals. Prior to being put up for adoption, all dogs and cats are assessed by a member of our Behavioural Assessment Team. The assessment is part of a process to ensure a good fit between the animal and new family.

Chester Chester is a Labrador retriever who was not considered adoptable due to extreme possessiveness relating to his food bowl. A decision was made to include his photo with that of other dogs available as part of the adopt-a-thon in August 2012, but adding strict conditions regarding training to his adoption, to manage his guarding issues. A customer who already had two other dogs at home, viewed the adoptable dogs and discussed Chester’s behaviours in a consultation with one of our animal services technicians. This dedicated adopter decided to give Chester a forever home and signed him up for private consultations with a certified professional dog trainer. His training is ongoing, but Chester is doing very well in his new home. 26 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

During 2012, Animal & Bylaw Services responded to just over 87,000 calls. Nearly 31,000 of those were for animals and over 56,000 were general bylaw calls.

Meeting demands for service The top five calls for service by type were: 1. Waste and sign concerns (e.g. discarded material, temporary signs, waste containment, etc.).

2012 Citizen Satisfaction Survey – satisfaction score 100% 88

2. Graffiti, vandalism and property damage concerns.


3. Property and maintenance concerns (e.g. snow and ice, slip and fall, structure maintenance).


4. Trees, vegetation and grass concerns (e.g. weeds, grass, obstruction or encroachment of trees, etc.).





Animal Services

Calls for service by type – 2012







5. Disturbance and behavioural concerns (e.g. fire pits, littering, panhandling, etc.).

Type of call






Bylaw Services

Community service responses 2012















80,000 61,822




40,000 24,737





20,000 0

2009 Animal Services

2010 Bylaw Services




How We Do it


Working with Calgarians Animal & Bylaw Services believes in actively engaging individuals, communities and organizations in decisions affecting them. We work with citizens, community associations, business revitalization zones, other City business units, non-government agencies, and other levels of government to achieve citizen-driven goals. The result is a number of highly effective and successful collaborations. The Crime Prevention Investment Plan (CPIP) This plan supports the development of new crime prevention initiatives, and augments the capacity of existing programs in partnership with other agencies. Funding was provided to the following projects in 2012: • Twelve community safety initiatives consisting of 45 organizations committed to reducing criminal activity, increasing bylaw compliance and community involvement. • Child and Youth Empowerment Strategy. • Calgary Humane Society Violence Prevention. • Downtown Outreach Addiction Partnership. • HomeFront Society for the Prevention of Violence – Early Intervention & Outreach Program.

CPIP received a return of almost $4 for every dollar invested in crime prevention initiatives 28 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

• Boys & Girls Club of Calgary. • Calgary Drug Treatment Court. • Federation of Calgary Communities – Building Safe Communities. • Calgary Child Advocacy Centre Volunteer Corp Development. • John Howard Society – Child and Youth Empowering Strategy. Pick up Pooch’s Poop Yourself events Our Public Education Team and Animal Control officers partnered with Parks to host four P.U.P.P.Y. (Pick up Pooch’s Poop Yourself) events this year. The purpose of P.U.P.P.Y. is to educate dog owners about their responsibilities under the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw. In addition, there are adverse impacts on health and safety to humans, animals and the environment if owners don’t pick up their dog’s waste. I (Heart) My Pet The I (Heart) My Pet rewards program includes over 60 local merchants. Pet owners who license their pets are eligible for rewards and discounts from these merchants. The rewards program is another incentive to encourage pet owners to license their pets.

Financial summary Animal & Bylaw Services is committed to demonstrating value for service. We initiated a business process review in 2011 to examine the internal and external services we provide, and continue to seek ways to improve and enhance our effectiveness and financial sustainability. We have been implementing practical recommendations as we proceed through this thorough examination of our services and business practices. Our 2012 Council-approved operating budget was $12 million. Animal Services operations are funded primarily from animal licensing revenues. Bylaw operations are funded using tax dollars. ABS operating budget vs. actual expenditures ($ millions), 2009-2012

$ millions



15.8 4.9



16.8 5.8


18.4 6.6

17.1 5.5



Dollar diagram/distribution of tax dollars, 2012 18.2 6.4

17.2 5.6



18.8 6.8

18.7 6.7



Of the 56 cents collected for the municipality, The City spends 12.6 cents on Community Services & Protective Services, as follows: Municipal government property tax .56¢



The Alberta Government receives 44 cents from every dollar collected through City of Calgary residential property tax bills.*



Mill rate





Revenue and recoveries







Provincial government property tax .44¢


Animal & Bylaw Services Public Safety Communications (9-1-1) Community & Neighbourhood Services Recreation Parks Calgary Fire Department

0.4¢ 0.7¢ 1.0¢ 1.5¢ 2.7¢ 6.3¢

*Based on the combined current municipal and Provincial property tax rates as independently determined by each level of government.

How We Do it


What’s Next

30 Animal & bylaw services | Annual Report 2012

We expect 2013 to contain a broad range of great opportunities for Animal & Bylaw Services to evaluate and strengthen our core business. We will start where we always do: listening to Calgarians to ensure we are meeting their needs and expectations, and maintaining our reputation as the standard bearer for animal and bylaw services in North America.

The projects we have planned for 2013 have all been initiated with the goal of improving our overall effectiveness and efficiency in serving Calgarians. 2013 Initiatives Much needed renovations to the Animal Services Centre are set to begin in 2013. The aim is to modernize the interior of the building and reconfigure the space. Animal & Bylaw Services will be testing new mobile technology that will allow officers to receive information remotely allowing for continuous communication with dispatch, which will contribute to overall officer safety and effectiveness. We will continue to provide training to our people so they have the skills and competencies they need to offer the services Calgarians expect and deserve. We will also continue to fund and lead communitybased projects that address public safety and social order concerns through the Crime Prevention Investment Plan and Community Standards Fund. Animal & Bylaw Services is committed to raising the bar and will continue to work with the community to address the issues Calgarians tell us are a priority.

What’s Next



Animal and Bylaw Services Annual Report 2012  

City of Calgary

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