Nature Canada is pleased to announce that the inaugural Safe Cats, Safe Birds Award has been given to the City of Calgary in recognition of its progressive municipal policy that keeps cats safe and saves bird lives.
“We are delighted to recognize the positive impacts the City of Calgary’s Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw has made,” said Eleanor Fast, Executive Director for Nature Canada. “It is a model for other municipalities to follow. Our Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives national campaign asks Canadian cat owners to join a growing movement of people who keep their cats supervised if they go outdoors. Unsupervised outdoor cats are at considerable danger from collisions with cars, fights with wildlife, diseases and poisons and are responsible for an estimated 100 to 350 million bird deaths a year in Canada.”
The Safe Cats Safe Birds Award aims to raise the profile of Canadian municipalities and their leaders who, as stewards of their local environment, make an important contribution to bird conservation by adopting animal control bylaws that specifically address and humanely control cats and their threat to birds.
The Calgary bylaw requires both cat and dog owners to license their pets, and to keep animals from roaming at large. The bylaw is an important factor in Calgary’s success, but the strong public education campaign, the ‘I Heart My Pet’ rewards program and the promise to return licensed pets are motivation for pet owners, earning Calgary the highest compliance rates in the country. Calgary also has a free spay/neuter program for low-income owners, funding for emergency medical care for injured strays, and a school program. Every aspect of this robust program is funded completely by the program’s own revenues.
Calgary was one of the first, if not the first, cities in Canada to adopt a no-roam bylaw for cats, and their approach serves as an example for other Canadian cities to follow.
Read more about the Calgary model in a 2011 Toronto Star article:here.
Read our press release here.