Surrenders and Strays
Surrendering your own pets
Making the decision to give up a pet can be difficult. Pet owners may surrender pets that they can no longer keep. People in this situation must call the shelter before bringing in the animal (s) so we can ensure that we have space to take the animal(s) at the time. It is a crime to drop and abandon animals outside the shelter unattended and the shelter does use video surveillance to monitor its shelter premises. When you call with a potential surrender, the staff will ask what you know about the pet’s health history and behaviour in order to best plan for intake. The shelter reserves the right to refuse entry to pets with behavioral issues. Aggressive behavioural issues may impact the safety of our staff and also the safety of potential adoptive families.
If the shelter has space at the time, an appointment will be made for drop off. If space is not available the staff will add the pet to the waitlist and discuss other interim options with you; we will contact you as space becomes available.
If you are able to download and complete the cat or dog behaviour profile here https://spcaswiftcurrent.com/downloadable-files/ before or even after the surrender and email or drop that off, it will help us better understand the pet.
Generally we prefer that surrendered pets not be brought in through the main shelter door unless this has previously been discussed with shelter staff, as this may expose healthy pets to any condition or disease the incoming pets may have. Also, since surrendering can be a difficult time we can arrange a quieter time for you to do this.
The shelter generally charges a surrender fee per pet to offset some of the many costs associated with the pet’s care and preparation for adoption. These costs may include basic vaccinations, vet-administered rabies vaccines, deworming medication, microchipping , and necessary medical treatment, spay/neuter and boarding fees.
Surrender fees can be found here https://spcaswiftcurrent.com/fee-schedule/
Bringing in Found or Feral Animals
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). The SPCA does have cat cages for loan/rent if required. The Shelter is unable to accept wild, vicious, aggressive or otherwise unadoptable animals as they pose a safety risk to staff and to potential adoptive families.
Surrender vs Stray?
Not sure if it’s a surrender or a stray? Here is a list of guidelines we go by to be sure we are processing our animals correctly. Please make sure you read through carefully. Please note that all animals brought to the SPCA are housed, fed and cared for by our very capable staff. That all animals are fully vaccinated, dewormed and then spayed or neutered.
What we consider to be a Surrender:
- If you have housed or fed the animal (s) for more the 3 months.
- If it is a litter from your animal.
- If you have any type of documentation (ex: vet records, bill of sale, breeder’s papers).
- If you can no longer take proper care of the animal.
- If you can no longer cope or financially aide the animal.
- Living conditions have changed and you can no longer house the animal.
- If the animal is not getting along with other animals of yours and you need to rehome.
- If the animal is an outside animal (ex: Barn Cats) it is still considered your animal. NOT a stray and required surrender fees will apply.
What we consider a Stray:
- An abandoned animal that was found on property of yours.
- A random animal found (ex: side of the road, wandering city streets, shop/quonset, work site).
- An animal you may have found and tried to keep but doesn’t work out, housed and fed for less than 3 months.
A Note on the Swift Current SPCA’s Role During Stray Impoundment
The Swift Current SPCA’s role regarding stray animals is limited legally during the short impoundment period to:
- housing and feeding the animals in a safe place for a set period of impoundment time while the owner is sought
- advertising the presence of the animals to try to locate the owners
- determining proof of ownership when owners come forward>/li>
- collecting the appropriate pound and licensing fees set by the City of Swift Current from the owner (and turning these fees over to the City)
- advising and cautioning 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.
We do not have the legal authority to conduct animal welfare investigations; that is the role of Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan.
Please be aware that the City of Swift Current Cat Trap Permit requires that you call the SPCA Shelter ahead of bringing in a trapped animal and calling ahead is strongly encouraged in all instances before bringing in a pet. This is to determine whether the shelter currently has space for the animal and to determine how best to intake the pet if it does. 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.