Fewer unwanted dogs and cats being surrendered to Mississauga Animal Services


Published April 12, 2023 at 2:46 pm

pets for adoption
(Photo: Julissa Helmuth/Pexels0

Fewer dogs and cats that owners no longer want or are unable to care for are being dropped off at Mississauga Animal Services the last couple of years compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

City of Mississauga senior staff told councillors at today’s (April 12) meeting of general committee that they have yet to see an anticipated “spike” in the number of surrendered house pets–specifically, dogs and cats–since the easing and elimination of pandemic-related restrictions last year.

In fact, staff noted, the numbers have come down dramatically since 2019, the year before the pandemic hit, when 145 dogs and cats were brought to Animal Services by people looking to give up ownership of their pets for various reasons.

The number dropped to 81 in 2020, climbed to 90 in 2021 and fell once again in 2022, to 76.

Staff added that fees associated with surrendering house pets to the City’s Animal Services department have been significantly scaled back to help those who are getting rid of their pets due to financial concerns and, therefore, would have difficulty paying the fee.

The cost, which used to be upwards of $300, was first reduced to $172 for dog owners, then further dropped to $70, the current charge.

For cats, the current fee is $52.

However, staff noted that for those pet owners who qualify, the cost can be even further reduced by 50 per cent to $35 for dogs and $26 for cat owners.

Should pet owners still not be able to afford the reduced fee, City staff added that “Animal Services will always accept the pet.”

Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish said she was happy to hear of the reduced fees, noting the considerably more expensive costs often led to pet owners dropping their unwanted animals in remote areas and leaving them behind or dropping them elsewhere with notes attached asking people who find them to care for them.

City staff added that an online program available through the City’s website, a North American-wide initiative called Home to Home, lets pet owners looking to surrender their dog or cat find a good home for the animal that way.

The service is free of charge and allows people who are getting rid of their pets to find good matches in those looking to welcome dogs and cats to their home.

City staff said that initiative is much better for the pet, which doesn’t then have to spend time in an Animal Services shelter.

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