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Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for a virtual tour of our Centre, and to learn more about what we do!

General Information

When was the Bow Valley SPCA (BVSPCA) built?

The Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre, which houses the BVSPCA, was built in 2007.

Where is the BVSPCA located?

Nestled in the heart of the Bow Valley, visitors will find the Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre conveniently located off Elk Run Boulevard in Canmore, Alberta. Click here for information on our location

How large is our property?

We have 2.17 acres of provincially leased land which has panoramic mountain views, natural green-space, and easy visitor access. The building is 3500 sq. feet designed with the surrounding community in mind.

What makes our building different?

We are proud of our Adoption Centre design in that it respects and adheres to the best green and animal friendly practices. Thanks to the volunteer leadership, management and construction by Robert Mitchell Masterhomes, our Centre adopts technologies, products and practices that ensures healthy indoor air quality, greater energy efficiency, reduced overall GHG emissions, reduced water usage, preservation of our natural resources, reduced animal stress, noise, light and chemical pollution, and improved durability and maintenance. We have built a home that respects the health and well-being of dogs/cats, but also people and our environment. Click here for details about what makes our building different

When is the BVSPCA open to the public?

Please click here for our hours of operation

What is the mandate of the BVSPCA?

Our Vision:

Make A Difference, Change Lives, Adopt. Love.

Our Mission:

Provide our community with an adoption centre following a no-kill, no-cage philosophy to shelter, care for and re-home stray and abandoned dogs and cats, and promote humane attitudes and responsible pet companionship through educational programs and community leadership.

Click here for more information on our no-kill, no-cage philosophy


How do I start the process of adopting an animal?

Firstly, please read our "Before You Adopt" page - found here. Then, take a look on our website at our currently available dogs and cats. When we receive new animals, they will be posted on our website shortly after, so keep a close eye for new animals being updated all the time! From there, fill out an adoption application (which you can access here) and email to If you are interested in a specific animal, please indicate in the application or in the body of the email. You do not have to have a specific animal in mind to submit an application and meet our animals. Once your application has been received and approved, our adoption manager will contact you to arrange a time for you to visit our animals.

How much does it cost to adopt a dog or cat?

Our fees are based on species and age. Click here to view our adoption fees

What brand of food do you recommend for my new dog or cat?

There is no single best answer to this question. Click here for more info!

How do I choose toys that are safe for my dog or cat?

Choose toys that are safe, being aware of structural integrity (e.g. plastics with sharp edges, feathers that have toxic dye, pet tennis balls (regular tennis balls may break teeth) etc.). Click here for more info on how to select a safe toy.


How can someone become a volunteer with the BVSPCA?

To become a volunteer, you must first complete an online application found here. After approval, you must complete our online new volunteer orientation, and provide a satisfactory police criminal record check. For details on how to volunteer, click here

Can my child volunteer?

Volunteers must be generally 18 years+, although if a volunteer wishes to bring their child onsite for certain tasks such as cat cuddling, grooming etc. this is an option. Events often can accommodate kids. We do not, however, allow children to work with our dogs, due to the unpredictable nature of abandoned dogs and limited staffing to assist with supervision.

We have been working on creating a Youth Ambassador program for 16- & 17-year olds who have a special interest in what we do and would like to explore our operation in order to complete their community volunteer hour requirement for high school graduation. If this interests you, please contact

When are volunteers needed?

This is a big & complicated question! We need volunteers essentially all the time, but roles vary tremendously. Our volunteer coordinator ( can help answer specific questions. That said, our Volgistics system allows active volunteers to access and self-schedule for certain volunteer assignments such as event assistance etc.

Can I walk dogs at the SPCA?

As part of your volunteer orientation, we offer a program called Open Paw Training for those volunteers wishing to walk our dogs. Click here for more info on our Open Paw Program.

Can I foster a dog or cat?

We foster dogs & cats that are not thriving at the Centre, which often means that we need qualified individuals who are skilled with scared, aggressive & reactive animals that have had a lousy start in life. If you are interested in fostering, please complete an online application found here.

Other Concerns

Does the Centre admit wildlife?

Click here

What do I do if I've lost/found a pet?

Click here

I'm concerned about a potential case of cruelty or neglect. What do I do?

Click here