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Central Alberta Humane Society urges ‘adopt, don’t shop’ mentality this holiday season

Adoption fees are currently $375 for a puppy and $200 for adult dogs, while kittens are $175 and adult cats are $150. Older cats cost $60.

There are currently over 80 cats and kittens and over 30 dogs and puppies in the CA Humane building (4505 – 77 Street) north of the city.

It’s a bustling place with retail spaces at the front and a litany of things going on behind the scenes.

These include a dignified cremation, meeting and greeting room, x-ray and blood test labs, seemingly endless kennels, operating theaters, and a room full of donated pet food. The animals also have outdoor space to run when the temperatures aren’t so cold, and giant washers and dryers are at work, constantly cleaning hundreds of donated blankets.

According to Richard, the average stay of an adult dog before adoption was 33 days in 2019. Today it’s 60 days, although it’s not uncommon for dogs — and other animals like rabbits — to stay for several months or even a full year. For a week, the estimated cost of accommodation is 75 USD.

Combine that with declining adoption numbers in 2021 and 2022, and it’s resulted in more than 400 cats and 100 dogs on waiting lists this year. That means people are waiting at home for a spot at CA Humane to hand over their furry friend.

About a third of the animals come through the organization’s on-site drop-off box, while others arrive through Alberta Animal Services or are dropped off in person.

“CA Humane is not funded by the government and we rely on donations and fundraising to offset our $1.4 million in operating expenses. When our community struggles, charities like ours struggle even more,” Richard says.

“We are full, and because we want to make sure we can provide the best possible care to all the animals at the shelter, we never take on excess capacity. However, we will always use people or families who are willing to foster animals in their homes for a short time or pending adoption.”

Richard also noted that puppies typically spend seven or eight days there before being adopted, but even with the cuteness factor – which is why they’re typically adopted faster – that wait has increased to an average of 25 days.

This December, CA Humane is conducting its Giving Tree fundraiser to help offset operational costs. Paws on the Tree – onsite – will require a minimum $10 donation, with funds going toward life-saving surgeries, spaying and neutering, animal enrichment, a new microscope, kitten incubator, and other items.

Speaking of spaying and neutering, CA Humane performed nearly 600 this year.

For this and other important reasons, CA Humane was recognized this year as Non-Profit of the Year by the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce.

Currently, CA Humane also sells raffle tickets (in store) for six different baskets and one 2023 Who saved who? calendar available. Dog licenses are also available from CA Humane, with The City of Red Deer supporting the organization with $7 from each license sold. This amount is $1 if registering directly through The City.

Richard also points out that CA Humane has nearly 400 volunteers, although not all are active, so more and more people are encouraged to sign up.

For more information visit cahumane.com.

You can also follow CA Humane on Facebook for the most up to date information on available animals and fundraising efforts.

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