Over at the KC Dog Blog, I posted a review of our recent conference speaker Bill Bruce. Bruce is the head of animal control and bylaw services for the city of Calgary, Ontario. I won't get into, the nitty gritty of Bill's speach when he was in town two weeks ago, but you can check it out over there.
But I wanted to highlight this for everyone because Calgary's ordinance has been so successful. Since they started instituting their animal control program, the following has taken place (keep in mind that Calgary has a population of over 1 million, so these numbers sound like small town numbers).
1) A 50% drop in the number of dog bites/attacks/chases (in spite of the population of people and dogs doubling during that time).
2) A huge decrease in euthenasia rates to where only 256 animals were killed last year in their entire system (the KC metro area kills nearly 40,000 animals each year). Calgary thinks it can legitimately become a no-kill city within the next 3 years.
3) They have a 90-95% dog licensing compliance rate (KCMO's is about 10%).
4) The Calgary animal control department is completely self-funding through licensing compliance and fines operating on a budget of about $3.7 million.
5) Nearly 80% of stray dogs are returned back to their owners.
6) Calgary has over 140 dedicated off-leash parks for dogs (KCMO has 1)
It's a fabulous program. They've done it all without breed specific laws, anti-tethering ordinances, pet limits or mandatory spay neuter laws.
They've done it with good educational practices and enforcement of licensing and leash laws...and hiring good animal control officers. (My favorite of the many great Bill Bruce quotes when he mentioned that his animal control officers get paid about $75,000 a year he said "I've found if you pay peaunuts you only attract monkies.")
I really wish more city administrators would have come out for his presentation. If there was interest in meeting with him, I would personally pay for him to come back out of my own pocket to meet with local officials and animal control officers. Their program is absolutely amazing and should be the model that all cities use: instead of cities like Lee's Summit and KCMO that used failing ordinances from other cities that have never been successful.