Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/4/2012 (3242 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Just two hours in, one happy border collie was headed to a new home from the city's adopt-a-dog sale.
Carol Ritchie and her husband Randy went to Animal Services on Logan Avenue on Wednesday morning to find her nephew a dog for his birthday.
"We've already adopted a dog from here and named him Logan McPhillips," said Ritchie, who admitted she wanted to keep her new friend, Sharona, to herself.
Ritchie was surprised when she found out Sharona was only going to cost $99, and would come spayed, vaccinated, with a micro-chip, food and pet health insurance.
"We didn't even know there was a sale today," she said.
The city holds the dog adoption events to alleviate the overflow of strays.
"All these dogs have a previous owner," said Leland Gordon, chief operating officer for Animal Services. All 41 dogs up for adoption have spent more than five days waiting to be claimed. Animal Services can't alert or return them to owners as the dogs are either not licensed, or aren't wearing one.
"The law is any dog over the age of six months must be licensed," said Gordon, who points out the standard stray in the pound has no tag and is usually not fixed.
The licensing law has been around for more than 100 years and, last September, a zero-tolerance policy came into effect. Owners of unlicensed dogs found by Animal Services are automatically fined $250, in addition to impound and boarding fees.
The city offers two prices for a year-long dog licence: $28 if the animal is spayed or neutered, $63 if it isn't. For those who can't afford to fix their pet, the Winnipeg Humane Society offers a subsidized program for low-income earners.
"We are all dealing with pet overpopulation," said Gordon, referring to the three other large animal organizations in the city: the Winnipeg Humane Society, D'Arcy's A.R.C. and Winnipeg Pet Rescue. And that doesn't include a number of smaller rescue groups in the city.
Profits from the licences go to protect the dog and upkeep of the Animal Services facility, vehicles and staff. While more than 20,000 new licences were purchased last year, the agency hasn't seen a slowdown in strays.
"We always seem to take in the same number of animals a year," said Gordon. Animal Services typically only euthanizes aggressive or terminally ill dogs, but cages must be kept open for new strays.
The agency is trying other methods to keep its numbers low such as foster care and five dog adoption sales last year. The result: Only 92 dogs had to be euthanized last year compared with 359 in 2008.
Gordon said one of the best ways to help as an owner is to be responsible.
"Get your dog a licence, and make sure it wears the licence," he said, adding that socializing dogs with others and including them as a part of the family encourages better behaviour.
The adoption sale is on until Friday, from noon to 5:30 p.m., at 1057 Logan Ave.