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Animal Services Agency


FAQs about adopting a dog

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What do you do with the stray dogs that come into the Animal Services Agency?
  • Every attempt is made to reunite stray dogs with their owners. When a dog is not claimed and it is deemed adoptable by the Animal Services Agency staff, it will enter the Dog Adoption Program.
Do I have to spay/neuter the dog I adopt?
  • The Responsible Pet Ownership By-law requires that all dogs adopted from the Agency must be spayed or neutered – failure to do so may result in legal action. There are health and behavioural benefits to spaying/neutering your dog:
    Health Benefits:
    • Spaying before the first heat reduces the possibility of breast cancer, common in older dogs;
    • Spaying prevents diseases of the uterus, ovaries and some skin disorders;
    • Neutering prevents testicular tumours, prostate disease and certain tumours of the anal area.
    Behavioural Benefits:
    • Spaying will keep away unwanted suitors and prevents messy spotting;
    • Neutered males will likely be less aggressive and less apt to roam;
    • Neutered males are less likely to mark the home with urine.
What kinds of dogs do you have up for adoption?
After I've adopted my dog, can the original owner try and claim it?
  • No - once adopted, the original owner has no claim to the dog. You are the legal owner.
Does the Animal Services Agency have a "trial period" when adopting a dog?
  • Yes – if there are young children or other pets in the home, we recommend a one week trial period. After one week, you will need to contact the Adoption Coordinator and advise of your intent to finalize the adoption or return the dog to the Animal Services Agency. If you return the dog within this time period, you will be refunded your adoption fee less the non-refundable deposit.
What happens if the dog needs veterinary care during the "trial period"?
  • When you take the dog out of the Animal Services Agency on a "home trial", the staff will explain the procedures that need to be followed should the dog require veterinary care during the trial period. You will be given a list of instructions and telephone numbers to call if necessary.
Can I return a dog after the adoption has been finalized?
  • No - after an adoption has been finalized, you become the legal owner of the dog and are responsible for its care.
Last update: September 9, 2015