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Animal & Bylaw Services - FAQ

Is Animal & Bylaw Services the same as the Calgary Humane Society?

No, it is not.

Animal & Bylaw Services is part of The City of Calgary Protective Services portfolio, and is responsible for the enforcement of municipal bylaws​ including the Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw. The Calgary Humane Society is responsible for provincial legislation related to animals. They enforce the Animal Protection Act, and investigates issues related to animal cruelty.

Animal & Bylaw Services and the Calgary Humane Society work closely together to advocate for responsible pet ownership, are part of the Responsible Pet Ownership Group (RPOG), and share a genuine concern for the welfare of animals. Both organizations shelter animals, operate volunteer programs and have pets available for adoption by the public.

Animal & Bylaw Services does not accept surrendered animals. If you need to surrender your pet, please contact the Calgary Humane Society.

Where do my pet licensing dollars go?

At three months of age, all cats and dogs residing in Calgary must be licensed with the City of Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services. Pets' licences are their ticket home. It also lets other citizens know that a pet at large has a home and is not a stray. All of the money from cat and dog licensing goes back into supporting Animal & Bylaw Services' operations.

Licensing fees, not tax dollars, fund the following programs and services:

  • Reunite lost cats and dogs with their owners.
  • Operate the Pet Drive Home program.
  • Educate cat and dog owners about responsible pet ownership.
  • Enforce the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.
  • Shelter and feed lost cats and dogs in our vet-operated facility.
  • Manage our animal adoption program.
  • Offer school programs at no charge.
  • Deliver public education programs.
  • Run our volunteer animal socialization programs.
  • Help neighbours resolve their animal related conflicts.
  • Provide funding to veterinary clinics for emergency medical care for injured stray cats and dogs.
  • Operate the No Cost Spay / Neuter Program​ for the cats and dogs of eligible Calgarians.
  • Provide medical care to adoptable cats and dogs in our clinic.

Which laws are enforced by Animal & Bylaws Services?

Animal & Bylaw Services enforces 24 municipal bylaws and three provincial statutes, including the Weed Control Act, the Traffic Safety Act andthe Municipal Government Act​.

To find out more about Calgary's bylaws, search bylaws by topic.

Does Animal & Bylaw Services enforce the Land Use Bylaw?


No.  Development & Building Approvals enforces the Land Use Bylaw.

What authority do Peace Officers have? 


Peace Officers have powers and duties granted by city council specified pursuant to the Alberta Municipal Government Act.​

Can I volunteer with Animal & Bylaw Services?

YES. Animal & Bylaw Services has a successful animal socialization volunteer program. Our PAWS (Positive Animal Wellness Support) Pal volunteers come in a minimum of five hours per month to pet, play, and interact with the cats and dogs that are available for adoption. Our volunteers greatly contribute to the physical and psychological well-being of our adoptable cats and dogs.​​​​​​​​