How Licensing Works in a Responsible Pet Ownership Community

In a responsible pet ownership community, your pet's license enables animal services to return him or her to you as soon as possible. It also tells strangers that your lost pet is not a stray and needs to be returned to its family. Your license fee pays for this service, and also funds other animal services in the community.


In Calgary, Alberta, Canada over 90% of the dogs and over 50% of the cats are licensed. As a result, Animal Services is funded entirely through pet licensing fees.


Here are some of the services that licensing fees cover in Calgary:


  1. •  Reunite lost cats and dogs with their owners.
  2. •  Operate the Pet Drive Home program.
  3. •  Educate cat and dog owners about responsible pet ownership. 
  4. •  Enforce the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.
  5. •  Shelter and feed lost cats and dogs in vet-operated facility.
  6. •  Manage animal adoption program.
  7. •  Offer school programs at no charge.
  8. •  Deliver public education programs.
  9. •  Run volunteer animal socialization programs.
  10. •  Help neighbours resolve their animal related conflicts.
  11. •  Provide funding to veterinary clinics for emergency medical care for injured stray cats and dogs.
  12. •  Operate no-cost spay and neuter program for cats and dogs of eligible Calgarians.
  13. •  Provide medical care to adoptable cats and dogs in a state of the art clinic.


Click here to be redirected to the City of Calgary's Animal & Bylaw Services website.


When a community offers these services in exchange for licensing fees, more people see the benefit of licensing their pets. When more people license their pets, the community is able to offer more services. Services are funded by pet owners, but make the community more enjoyable for pet owners and non-pet owners alike.


Pictured above is Bill Bruce, Director of Animal & Bylaw Services (2000-2012), Calgary, Alberta, with his dog, Amy. Mr. Bruce is an advisor to NCRC, and Calgary is a model responsible pet ownership community. 


Click for a printable resource describing how the City of Calgary's Bylaw has been successful.