To maintain our capacity for care levels at the animal shelter, the managed intake of found strays is in effect.  

If you have found a stray pet within the City of Lethbridge, you MUST make a request for intake.

What is managed intake?

 A consistent increase in the number of animals being turned into the animal shelter has significantly affected our ability to maintain an appropriate capacity for care level. Overcrowded conditions lead to illness, more stress on the animals and staff, and a backlog of pets to be adopted. Managed intake is a model that has been adopted by a majority of animal care and control facilities in North America and is supported by the Fear Free Shelters Program and the National Animal Care and Control Association. Prioritizing intake and managing the population within the shelter provides a less stressful environment, reduces the spread of illness, and allows the animal care team to spend more time providing direct care and enrichment activities to each individual cat or dog.

Found a stray cat

The animal shelter must manage the intake of strays to ensure the proper care, safety, and health of the animals in our facility. Our goal is to provide care and housing to cats in dire need, return lost pets to their owners, and adopt out those that go unclaimed.

The reality is, the majority of cats found stray outside are not in distress and sheltering is not always the best option for the cat. Stray cats are 10 times more likely to be reunited with their owner if they are left where they are found. 

If you have found a stray cat within the City of Lethbridge, please consider the following:

Feral cats should not be turned into the animal shelter.

If you have found a stray cat that appears to be distressed, and cannot locate the owners, please complete the intake request form.

If you have found a seriously injured or deceased cat in a public space, or orphaned kittens where a mother has not returned in over 8 hours, please call 403-320-4099 so an Enforcement Officer can be dispatched.

For information about dealing with nuisance cats on your property, click here.

Enforcement Officers do not respond to general cat complaints or pick up stray cats.

📝Managing Stray Cats Handout 

Found a stray dog

In the City of Lethbridge, the control and licensing of dogs is regulated under Bylaw 5235. This bylaw requires owners to have identification for their pets and to ensure that their dogs are not running at large in the community.

Have you found a stray dog within the City of Lethbridge? Consider the following:

** For loose dogs creating a threat to public safety, call 403-320-4099 **

How you can help

Pet owners:

Community members:


 Intake of found stray cats to the City of Lethbridge Animal Shelter is prioritized based on the cats' needs and available resources. Request for intake MUST be made ahead of time to have a cat admitted to the facility. Please complete the intake request form so staff can triage the intake. Your request will be added to a waiting list and staff will contact you when kennel space becomes available. Walk-ins will not be accepted.