Animal Services

The City of Fort Saskatchewan has a number of services available for domestic and wild animal concerns.

Please report a missing animal, an animal noise complaint or a dead animal through Fort Report or by calling Municipal Enforcement Services at 780-997-7930.

Animal Control

To learn how to care for the health and safety of your animal, read our Animal Control Bylaw.

Animal control facts

Fort Saskatchewan’s Animal Control Bylaw regulates the ownership of dogs, cats, domestic pigeons and domestic rabbits.

  • People may own up to three dogs and / or three cats.
    • Dogs and cats must be licensed.
    • Dogs and cats may be taken outdoors but must be on-leash.
  • A person may own or keep no more than four pigeons or rabbits in any combination.
    • Pigeons and rabbits must at all times be in a fully enclosed pen maintained in a clean, sanitary and inoffensive condition, and not located within two meters of the premises’ boundary.
  • No person is permitted to own or keep within the City; livestock, poisonous snakes, reptiles or other insects, or any other animal that in the adult form would weigh more than 5 kilograms.

Cat control

Owners or care-givers of cats are not permitted to release cats to the outdoors off-leash. Should that occur, the animal may be seized and the owner or care-giver fined.

Property owners can take steps to humanely deter unwanted cats from their yards and flower beds. Suggestions include:

Choose plants and herbs that naturally deter cats by giving off smells cats dislike, such as Citronella, Coleus, Lavender, Lemongrass, Pennyroyal, and Rue.

  • Purchase and use cat and dog repellent sprays or granules available at local hardware and department stores (check first to make sure the product you choose is in stock).
  • Gently spray or splash water on a cat to keep them away.
  • Remove food sources that may attract cats to your yard.
  • Ensure garbage / compost bins are securely shut.
  • Bury chicken wire in the soil of your flower beds that you don't want cats to enter or dig in.
  • Municipal Enforcement has a small stock of cat traps that may be rented to humanely trap a cat. You must check the trap daily and surrender a trapped cat to Municipal Enforcement.

While property owners can take steps to deter cats from their yards, remember you cannot do anything to harm the animal.

Cats in distress or abused

If you suspect a stray or abandoned cat is in distress or has been abused, please contact:

Fort Saskatchewan Municipal Enforcement Services
Phone: 780-997-7930

Alberta SPCA
Phone: 1-800-455-9003

Pet Licensing

The City of Fort Saskatchewan Animal Control Bylaw C7-16 requires all animals residing within the City be licensed annually. Failure to comply with licensing your animal carries a fine of $150.00

Animal Control Bylaw: S.3.1 – The owner shall not own, keep or harbour any dog, nuisance dog, restricted dog, or cat over the age of six months within the City, unless the animal is licensed pursuant to this bylaw.

Where do my Licence fees go?

Animal licenses help return lost pets to their owners and ensure pets are safe, healthy and a positive addition to the community. Pet licensing fees go towards Animal Control, waived kennel fee if found, supporting dog parks and free dog waste bags. It’s that little bit of extra insurance in the event of a major emergency within the City, we will know what homes have pets inside.

Apply or renew your animal license

Wild Animals and Pests

City staff do not remove or relocate wildlife under any circumstances.

Please report all concerns to Alberta Fish and Wildlife: 780-427-3574.

Beavers

Beavers are a valuable member to the ecosystem as they create ponds and bodies of water for other organisms to live. They can also be detrimental to our ecosystem through their ability to chew through trees and create dams like it’s their day job!

Beaver

Beavers are territorial animals when it comes to competing with other beavers. As far as humans and dogs go, they will only attack if they feel threatened. Beavers are known to reside in the pond at the West River’s Edge adjacent to the Dog Park. If you see a beaver, keep your dog close, leash your dog or relocate to one of the other fenced in areas. Being aware of the beavers and coexisting will be key to keeping you, your dogs and the beavers safe.

More information on Beavers 

Coyotes

Coyotes are a natural pest control that are important to the ecosystem in Fort Saskatchewan to ensure that the number of rodents stays at an acceptable level. Coyotes by nature are not aggressive unless they feel threatened. Most times, coyotes are more scared of you, than you are of them! With that being said, coyotes are animals after all and their behaviour cannot always be predicted.

Coyotes, Photo by Tony LePrieur
Photo by Tony LePrieur

There are a number of recommendations for residents to reduce the number of encounters with coyotes in City limits. The major recommendation is to not leave food, garbage or dog waste laying on the ground as these items attract coyotes. They are intelligent creatures, if food is left out and they come across it, it is likely coyotes will return to that location looking for more food. Other preventative measures include reducing the number of hiding spots (i.e., under decks, sheds, and trees with low hanging branches).

If you do encounter a coyote, the Government of Alberta recommends that you make it an unpleasant experience for the coyote. You can do this by making yourself look bigger, wave your arms, and shout. The goal is to modify their behaviour to discourage them from coming into City limits and near people. If you encounter a coyote at the off leash dog park, put the leash back on your dog to ensure that the dog does not attack or threaten the coyote in anyway.

If you have an immediate concern regarding a coyote, please contact Fish & Wildlife: 780-427-3574

More information on Coyotes

Urban Coyotes Brochure

Garter Snakes

Alberta has three species of Garter Snakes. These small, slender snakes rank among the most beautiful and more common snakes in the province.

Garter Snakes

They can be found in a wide variety of habitats and are often encountered along the margins of wetlands, rivers, and other bodies of water. All Garter Snakes are harmless to people and when approached they quickly retreat to dense cover or water. Garter snakes are not picky and will eat almost any creature that they are able to catch including small fish, amphibians, small mammals, earthworms, slugs, and leeches.

More information on Snakes in Alberta

Hibernacula (Winter Dens)

Information from Alberta Conservation Association.

All Alberta reptiles survive the winter in places where they will not freeze. Each fall, Alberta snakes set off from their summer feeding grounds back to traditional winter dens, called hibernacula. Hibernacula are often used for many years and include the crevices in rocky outcrops, slumps along river valleys, animal burrows, and other subterranean spaces that extend far underground and below the frost line.

The temperatures within hibernacula remain just above freezing and fairly constant because of the insulating effects of the earth. As snakes enter a period of dormancy they don't eat a thing for many months and live sparingly off the energy stored in body fat reserves.

Eventually, the warmth of spring will penetrate their winter retreats and lure the snaked back to the surface. Because of the vulnerability of snakes at hibernacula, these communal sites are protected from disturbance under the Alberta Wildlife Act.

Fun Fact!

Fort Saskatchewan is home to a garter snake hibernacula! If you happen to come across a hibernacula, please do not touch or disturb it.

Resources

Alberta Conservation Association

Alberta Fish and Wildlife

Northern Alberta Wildlife Rehabilitation and Rescue