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Don’t feed stray animals: public safety manager

Lloydminster’s public safety manager Glenn Alford is reminding residents to avoid feeding stray animals when coming across them. Recently, a stray dog known to Lloydminster as Bear captured the city’s attention by being out in the city for months. Bear was loose within the city of Lloydminster for the past seven months and was recently captured with the help of K9 Recovery Service.

In one instance, the dog came close to a trap before spotting a human who offered him food. Bear avoided being trapped and managed to prolong his time as a free dog on the land. Alford says that offering stray animals food without capturing them will only make it more difficult for animal control to find them.

“That’s a tool that will cause the animal not to be captured as easily. If it’s always got food, it won’t come near us when we’re trying to catch it,” says Alford.

Alford says that the biggest part of capturing stray animals is public safety. Strays can become an issue when present in traffic, may become aggressive with people or with other animals in the community. When trying to rescue a stray animal, residents may contact the city for help, or capture it themselves if the animal isn’t aggressive.

The city can be called for the pick-up of the stray animal. The city has an arrangement with the Lloydminster and District SPCA to house stray animals that are picked up. Alford says that ensuring the animals can get out of the cold and into care is the goal and is better overall for public safety in Lloydminster. He adds that if you’re uncomfortable trying to capture an aggressive animal, the city can be called for support.

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“The biggest thing for us is public safety; making sure there aren’t any animals with disease interacting with the population out there. Especially, getting into a schoolyard or a playground, where there could be young kids susceptible to being injured, bitten, or even chased or scared. The sooner we can take animals into care, the better off everyone is.”

Stray animals caught by the city are taken to the SPCA. If they aren’t picked up within three days, the shelter takes responsibility for the animal and may try to adopt the animal out or send them to an external rescue society. Residents who see a stray animal can call the city at (780) 874-3710 at any time to submit a complaint. The city will then send a bylaw officer to try and pick up the stray animal.

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