Surrender and Return Policies
Surrender is by appointment only and we cannot accept walk-in or day-of surrenders. Surrendering an animal should be a last resort for pet owners.
People wishing to surrender their dog or cat must wait until space is available, and you may be placed on a waitlist. Behavioural assessment prior to intake of surrendered dogs may be required. As we are a limited admission Centre, we cannot take dangerous dogs.
To arrange an appointment, contact Meghan Keelan - Adoption Centre Manager 403-609-2022 (message can be left at any time and we will respond as soon as possible) or by email at email@example.com.
It is the policy of the Bow Valley SPCA to care for orphaned cats and dogs in the Bow Valley until suitable permanent homes can be found. The Bow Valley SPCA believes that all life is valuable and that all animals are worthy of having their needs met. It is a privilege to own a pet and a lifelong responsibility. If a person can no longer properly honour their commitment to their pet and feels the need to surrender him/her to the Bow Valley SPCA it should be because all other options have been exhausted.
The staff of the Bow Valley SPCA will offer the public other options before the decision to surrender is final. These options include:
- Training classes and/or seeking help from an animal behavioural specialist.
- Have your pet seen by a veterinarian for a health exam. Many behavioural issues (cats peeing outside the litterbox, sudden aggression, etc.) can be due to undiagnosed medical issues or underlying pain.
- Place the pet with family, friends, or a trusted community member who will love and care for him/her temporarily, or permanently.
- Make attempts to re-home the animal yourself (contact your veterinarian to have them spread word to clients, advertise online or local bulletins, etc.). Screen potential families thoroughly to ensure your pet will be properly cared for, and reference our adoption applications for important questions to ask.
- Check if there is a breed-specific rescue group and contact them.
- Check with the source of the pet. (i.e. the breeder- good ones will attempt to help with any problems or will take their animals back).
- If you are unable to afford medical treatments or to fix your pet, find information on our subsidized spay/neuter program, consider pet insurance, and seek additional pet health resources.
- Make necessary changes to your lifestyle to accommodate your pets needs. It is a privilege to own a pet, and you should be willing to adapt your lifestyle to give your pet the care that they need. Examples: Hire a dog walker or bring your dog to daycare if you feel you can no longer provide your dog enough exercise or enrichment. Manage reactivity with muzzle training and walking your dog at quiet times in non-popular areas, while working with a trainer. Secure pet friendly accommodations before moving to a new area, or consider moving out of an area if pet friendly accommodations are not found.
The Bow Valley SPCA will need time to make arrangements to accept the animal, particularly if the Centre is at maximum capacity. The animal’s veterinary records are required. The pet owner will be asked to bring the animal’s food, crate, collar, and any familiar toys or blankets that may help them feel more secure.
Ownership of the animal must be signed over to the Bow Valley SPCA. The Bow Valley SPCA will make every possible effort to find a suitable forever home for the animal. The Bow Valley SPCA will provide the animal with food, shelter, ongoing veterinary care (including spay/neuter surgery), vaccinations, regular exercise, obedience training, love and attention for the duration of their stay at the Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre.
Repeated and continual surrender of animals will not be tolerated or accepted by the Bow Valley SPCA. If it becomes a recurring event, the mother of the litters (weaned or unweaned) must be surrendered, along with the litter, to the Bow Valley SPCA, whereupon, she will be spayed at one of the veterinary clinics in Canmore. It is then only at the discretion of the Bow Valley SPCA staff whether or not she will be returned to the owner.
The Bow Valley SPCA asks that the former owner contribute to the ongoing care of the animal financially, by way of a one-time surrender fee as follows;
- $200.00 per cat or dog
- $200.00 for a litter of puppies or kittens - $250.00 for a litter with the mother.
Dogs or cats adopted from us may be returned in most instances. We want to ensure that our animals find the best fit possible for their forever home.
To arrange an appointment to return your pet, contact Meghan Keelan - Adoption Centre Manager 403-609-2022 (message can be left anytime and we will try to respond within 24 hrs) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Refundable adoption fee
We adopt all animals in good faith but we cannot guarantee the health, adult size, behaviour, temperament, or training ability of our animals because most of our animals come to us with limited background information.
We will automatically accept the return of animals and refund the adoption fee in two circumstances:
- Within 10 days of the date of adoption if the animal has a previously undiscovered medical problem. The adopter has 10 days from the date of possession to take the animal to a licensed veterinarian for a physical examination at the adopter’s expense, unless a free examination is arranged by the us, whereupon, if the veterinarian finds a medical problem with the animal, the adopter has the option to refuse medical treatment for the problem and surrender the animal to us in exchange for a refund of the adoption fee.
- Within 10 days of possession of the animal, should we be provided with satisfactory evidence of an allergic reaction to the animal on the part of the adopter, or any other permanent resident in the adopter’s home, we will accept the return of the animal and the adopter will receive a refund of the adoption fee.
Non-refundable adoption fee
Where an adopter wishes to return their pet after ten days of taking possession of their pet, we may accept the return of the pet in some circumstances. The Adoption Centre Manager will interview the adopter and decide whether we can accept the pet back. Adoption fees are non-refundable and a surrender fee will be charged if the animal is returned to us.
Adopters who have returned their pets to us may not be permitted to adopt another animal from us in the future, depending on the reason for surrender.