The Swift Current SPCA’s role regarding stray animals is limited legally during the short impound period that the animal is housed here. We do not have the legal authority to conduct animal welfare investigations; that is the role of the Sask SPCA/APSS. In situations where the SPCA feels that further action is required by another agency, based on the facts available to us, then appropriate action will be taken. However, the general population will not be aware of this because we will never publicize that type of action via social media.
We are required to:
– house and feed the animals in a safe place for a set period of impoundment time while the owner is sought
– advertise the presence of the animals to try to locate the owners
– determine proof of ownership when owners come forward
– collect the appropriate pound and licensing fees set by the City of Swift Current from the owner (and turning these fees over to the City)
– advise and caution the owners on any care concerns we feel might be evident
After the impound period is up and if no owners come forward, the animal becomes the property and responsibility of the Swift Current SPCA. At this point we would provide all the further care services (grooming, vaccinations, etc) we do for other pets in our care.
The Swift Current SPCA has several kennels dedicated to housing dogs and three cages for cats brought in by City animal control officers. Pound fees for the first 72 hours of the dog’s stay goes to the City. If any necessary medical treatments are undertaken with the pets while in our custody, the reclaiming owner will also be responsible for these costs. Wild, vicious, aggressive or otherwise un-adoptable animals may be brought to the Shelter by City animal control officers to await reclaiming by their owners, however the Shelter is unable to accept these animals for future adoption.
Members of the general public may bring in pets they believe to be strays or homeless animals. If you have an animal you may want to bring in, the first step should be a call to the shelter to discuss the situation. The shelter staff will discuss current capacity with you and our ability to accept the animal, as well as any concerns around catching and transporting the animal and other related considerations. Those wishing to bring in animals are responsible for catching and safely transporting the animals. The Swift Current SPCA’s mandate does not include trapping cats or catching stray dogs. (The latter service is done by the City). When you call with a potential stray or homeless animal, the staff will ask what you know about the pet’s health and behaviour. The shelter reserves the right to refuse entry to pets deemed feral (untamed) and animals with behavioral issues which might impact staff safety or the suitability of the animal for future adoption. We strongly advise that you discuss your stray situation with the shelter before catching the animal as we may be at capacity.
The shelter generally charges a surrender fee per pet to help offset some of the costs associated with the care of the animal; this may be waived where the pet is a stray, however we may ask for a donation to support the pet depending on the circumstances. If it is later determined that an owner has falsely surrendered their own pets as strays, the owner will be held liable for all associated costs.
If you have further questions regarding the SPCA’s role in impoundment and animal cruelty cases, please feel free to give us a call.
Melissa Topham RVT