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The 5 Best Calgary Animal Shelters

The 7 Best Calgary Animal Shelters in Calgary

Fellow animal lovers, you’re in for a treat! Today, we’re going over something you’re sure to be interested in. 

This week, we spent time finding the best animal shelters in Calgary based on factors that matter most. Check out which places made this year’s list!

The Best Animal Shelters in Calgary

Here are the criteria we used to evaluate our entries:

Services and support – We chose animal shelters that provide a range of services to their pets in order to support their needs. This includes having on-staff vets and trainers, as well as having clean facilities for them.
Business practices – We chose animal shelters that have good business stewardship. They must be able to have support staff and volunteers that are well-trained to handle the demands of rescue work.
Guidelines and policies – We chose animal shelters that are able to implement basic rules for adoption and to foster and clearly communicate those rules to protect both pets and people. It is also preferable if they are capable of employing methods aimed at creating a pet-person match.
Reputation – We chose animal shelters with a good community reputation. This includes their years of experience, certifications, and recognition. Having positive online feedback is also a plus.

1. Wag-A-Muffins Animal Rescue

Wag-A-Muffins Animal Rescue
TestInfo
SERVICES• Adoption

• Fostering

• Accepts surrenders

WEBSITEhttps://www.wag-a-muffins.com/
ADDRESS28 McKenzie Lake Crescent SE, Calgary, AB T2Z 2P2, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS [email protected] 
OPERATING HOURSMonday - Sunday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Adoption fees: 
• Dog under 6 months of age: $500
• Dog Over 6 months of age: $450
• Senior dogs over 9 years: ​$350
• Cat under 4 months of age: $200 or $350 for a sibling pair
• Cat Over 4 months of age: $150
• Senior cats over 8 years: ​$75
Medical care covered: 
• Spayed/neutered
• Vaccinated
Adoption system:  Screens adopters
Specific adoption requirements (besides the application process: None
Open to fostering: Yes
Open to volunteers: Yes
Accepts surrenders: Yes
Services and support5/5
Business practices5/5
Guidelines and policies5/5
Reputation4/5

If you’re thinking about adopting a dog or a cat (or both), Wag-A-Muffins Animal Rescue is a good place to start. They’re solely dedicated to caring for animals, so we’re confident they will be a pleasure to work with.

For starters, all the animals under their care have already undergone a check-up at the vet and have received complete vaccinations. This completely reassures adopters that whatever pet they take home with them has been medically cared for.

They’re also an all-breed organization, so if you’re looking to adopt a rescue, you’ll have plenty of options. Although, as animal lovers ourselves, we’re sure the breed is the least of your concern.

Additionally, Wag-A-Muffins accepts owner surrenders. They have a program that assists pet owners with the rehoming of their animals to qualified furparents.

Available animals here can be viewed online which is a plus for convenience (and we highly recommend you take a look there first). They have them listed along with important information such as their sex, breed, and a brief description.

Although Wag-A-Muffins is easily accessible via their website (including the online application, process information, the cost, and the rules), there have been complaints about how slowly they respond to such inquiries.

Other than this though, we’re pretty much pleased with this animal shelter and the level of care they offer. 

Pros

  • Have rescued cats and dogs available for adoption and fostering
  • Accepts owner surrenders
  • All animals are vet-checked and vaccinated
  • An all breed organization
  • Easily accessible (through an informative website)
  • Pet information and availability posted on website 

Cons

  • Minor complaints regarding slow response to inquiries
  • Visit is by appointment only (no walk-ins)

Exceptional care

Wag-a-muffins helped me find my sweet fluffy boy. They found him and gave him exceptional care until he was ready to be adopted. It’s an amazing transformation to see, and my family is more complete since I brought him home. – Stefanie Harper

Amazing to deal with, passionate and dedicated

We contacted WAM after our neighbors adopted the sweetest puppy and we were lucky enough to get one too! WAM was amazing to deal with, they are passionate and dedicated to making sure these animals go to the best people possible! I will tell everyone if they are looking for an animal to contact them! We can’t thank them enough for allowing us to take home our sweet Dexter! – Jenn Newman

2. Calgary Humane Society

Calgary Humane Society
TestInfo
SERVICES• Adoption

• Intake

WEBSITEhttps://www.calgaryhumane.ca/
ADDRESS4455 110 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2C 2T7, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS(403) 205-4455

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURSMonday - Friday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Adoption fees: 
• Kittens (under 7 months): $285
• Adult cats (7 months – 9 years): $200
• Puppies (under 5 months): $625
• Adult dogs (1 year – 6 years): $405
• Rabbits (all ages): $75
• Exotics (rodents, birds, reptiles, fishes): $15-$100
Medical care covered: 
• Spayed/neutered
• Complete vaccines
• Microchipped
Adoption system: First come first serve basis
Accepts surrenders: Yes
Services and support5/5
Business practices5/5
Guidelines and policies4/5
Reputation4/5

If you aren’t sure what type of pet you want to adopt, we believe the Calgary Humane Society is the best fit for you. They can provide you with a variety of choices –  from dogs, cats, rabbits, and even exotic animals.

They operate on a first-come, first-serve adoption system, so scheduling an appointment with them is not necessary. Everyone is welcome to visit their facility whenever they’re open to seeing their adoptable animals in person.

Of course, the Calgary Humane Society, like most other animal shelters nowadays, has a list of animals available for adoption on its website. This sure is convenient for those who don’t have the time to travel to their place.

We’re also totally touched by how they make sure to find the perfect home for their animals through the additional and aftercare services they provide. This includes post-adoption behavior support, classes, individual consultations, and even a free behavior help phone line. 

On another note, adoption isn’t the only thing they can assist you with; you can also surrender your pets to them. They have a form for that on their website, so you don’t need to visit them in person for a consultation.

Lastly, the Calgary Humane Society can also be relied on for emergency pet boarding, intended as a last resort for individuals who are unable to care for their animals temporarily. Having said that, they are without a doubt a wonderful animal shelter in the city.

Pros

  • Has makes types of animals available for adoption
  • Intakes animals
  • Accepts walk-ins, appointments not necessary 
  • Has promising additional and aftercare services
  • Available for emergency pet boarding
  • Adoptable animals available on their website

Cons

  • First come first serve basis

Knowledgeable staff, reasonable fees

CHS is the best place to adopt your new or next fur baby!! Giving a pet a new life is a humbling beginning all of my pets are rescued by CHS. I have been so blessed to have adopted my babies and giving them a life they deserve. Staff and volunteers are so lovely, knowledgeable of their works and ethics, veterinary doctors here are great and make sure each and every animal are healthy and ready to be adopted☺️ fees is reasonable and a clean space!! Highly recommend Calgary Humane Society – Kayla

Easy adoption process

Everyone I spoke with was kind and respectful to the animals. The adoption process was easy and the staff truly have the animal’s best interest at heart. The volunteers were also wonderful. – Diane

3. MEOW Foundation

MEOW Foundation
TestInfo
SERVICES• Adoption

• Intake

WEBSITEhttps://meowfoundation.com/
ADDRESS35 Skyline Crescent NE, Calgary, AB T2K 5X2, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS+1 403-230-6033
OPERATING HOURSMonday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Adoption fees: 
• Kitten: (3 to 6 months old): $225
• Adult Cat: $175
• Senior, Shy & Select Cats: minimum of $50
Medical care covered: 
• Spayed/neutered
• Complete vaccines
• Microchipped
Adoption system: Screens adopters
Specific adoption requirements (besides the application process: None
Open to fostering: No
Accepts surrenders: Yes
Services and support5/5
Business practices4/5
Guidelines and policies4/5
Reputation5/5

MEOW (Make Each One Wanted) Foundation is one of the best shelters in Calgary if you want to adopt a cat. To begin with, all of their cats are rescued, so adopting from them means literally giving a cat a second chance at life.

All of their cats up for adoption have already been spayed/neutered, received complete vaccines, and are even microchipped. So what customers only need to worry about is passing their application process.

Speaking of which, MEOW has a 30-day trial matchmaker program in which potential adopters are given a month with their chosen cat with no risks. 

In our opinion, this is what distinguishes them from other Calgary animal shelters. We find the said trial to be a great factor in helping the cat and humans get used to each other’s living situations – and not many shelters take the same initiative.

Another thing we like about MEOW is its reputation. They’re the longest-running no-kill organization that’s focused on cat care.

Perhaps the only drawback we see is that adopters can’t personally visit the cat of their choice until their adoption applications are approved (via phone call). It’s a good thing they can see which cats are available for adoption on their website to get a sense of which ones suit them.

Pros

  • Longest running no-kill organization 
  • Open to rescue stray and owner surrender cats
  • Solely focused on cat care
  • All cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped
  • Offers a 30-day trial matchmaker
  • Easy to approve adoption applications

Cons

  • Intake procedures are by appointment only
  • Can’t personally visit cats until the approvement of application

Helpful with the adoption process, great in follow-ups

I adopted my sweet Cheeto just over 2 years ago now from Meow, and could not be more happy! A very wonderful organization that has been nothing but gracious and helpful with the adoption process and even following up periodically afterward. The employees and volunteers are always able to answer any questions you might have, and are very helpful in guiding you in the right direction when it comes to finding the best fit for a kitty companion. I have nothing but good things to say about Meow, and personally believe they are the best cat adoption agency in Calgary. – rachel l

Awesome organization. Cats are well treated as are their volunteers. – Jessica N.

4. Rosier Days Dog Rescue Society

Rosier Days Dog Rescue Society
TestInfo
SERVICES• Adoption

• Fostering

• Intake

WEBSITEhttps://www.rosierdays.com/
ADDRESSCalgary, AB
CONTACT DETAILS[email protected]
Adoption fees: 
• Puppy (under 6 months): $700
• Adolescent (6 months to 1 year): $600
• Adult/ Young Senior (majority of our dogs): $525
• Mature, determined by RDDR: $425
Medical care covered: 
• Spayed/neutered
• Rabies vaccinated
Adoption system: 
• Screens adopters
• Home visitation
Specific adoption requirements (besides the application process: None
Open to fostering: Yes
Open to volunteers: Yes
Accepts surrenders: No, as of writing
Services and support5/5
Business practices4/5
Guidelines and policies5/5
Reputation3/5

Rosier Days Dog Rescue Society is a simple rescue organization run by a group of women who are passionate about saving dogs and finding them homes. Though driven by dedication, they are also knowledgeable enough to work with dogs from a variety of backgrounds.

Rosier is well-known in the area for their strict adoption process, which is a significant strength for us as an effective animal shelter. Before adoption, they thoroughly screen applicants and conduct a home visit.

The same goes if you want to foster a dog from them. It’s important to note that they only allow people to foster their rescues if they live in the area and don’t have children under 12 for the safety of both parties.

Of course, Rosier can also intake dogs, though they don’t accept that much since they’re an independent rescue and are only run by a small team. However, if they accept your dog, we believe they can provide the best care possible.

They give serious attention to every dog under their care, including a 2-week assessment period, dog training, medical care, and nutrition. Considering their size, the level of care is quite impressive to us.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, Rosier Days Dog Rescue Society is on an intake freeze and is not accepting any new dogs. However, you can always rely on them when it comes to adoption and fostering, which you can apply for on their website.

Pros

  • Open for dog adoption 
  • Open for dog fostering 
  • Accepts surrenders
  • Quality care for all dogs 
  • Provides spaying and neutering pets
  • Specializes in dog-only rescue 

Cons

  • Dog-only rescue shelter
  • Currently on an intake freeze

Loves animals, organized and caring

Fantastic experience and group that worked with us!! You can tell they really love the animals and want what’s best for them! Would definitely recommend them to anyone that asked me. – Kurt Perkins

“We foster for this group. Small, organized, caring, and thoughtful. Excellent practices and always put the dogs 1st.”

5. Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society

Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society
TestInfo
SERVICES• Intake
WEBSITEhttps://www.calgarywildlife.org/
ADDRESS11555 85 St NW, Calgary, AB T3R 1J3, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS403-214-1312

[email protected] | [email protected]

OPERATING HOURSMonday - Sunday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Medical care covered: General medical care
Adoption fees: No adoption
Adoption system: No adoption
Accepts surrenders: Yes
Specific adoption requirements (besides the application process: No adoption
Open to fostering: No
Open to volunteers: Yes
Services and support5/5
Business practices4/5
Guidelines and policies3/5
Reputation4/5

The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society’s mission is to rescue and rehabilitate wild animals. They’re a registered non-profit organization that was founded in 1993 and is devoted to offering expert care for wildlife.

Speaking of expert care, they provide a home for such animals, particularly those in need of special medical care. In fact, they’re more than just an organization – they’re also a hospital that cares for injured and orphaned wildlife in Calgary.

The organization is run by a team of skilled veterinarians who personally facilitate the rehabilitation of their rescued wildlife. Knowing this, we’re confident that all animals receive adequate care at all times. 

As wildlife is expected to return to their natural habitat once they’re healed, this organization obviously doesn’t cater to adoption or fostering – they only do intakes. However, we appreciate that they hold wildlife-related events, outreaches, and educational services for the volunteers.

These services are what we consider valuable to all individuals planning to adopt animals, regardless of the species, of course. In fact, these are well-received by the community, as evidenced by their overwhelming reviews online.

Overall, the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society specializes in taking care of and rescuing wildlife that provides great education services to all pet owners. So, if you need more knowledge in the process, they’re the people to contact.

Pros

  • Animal shelter for wildlife in Calgary
  • The only wildlife hospital located in the city
  • Run by skilled veterinarians
  • Conducts wildlife-related events and education programs
  • Accepts volunteers
  • Can be called to surrender wildlife

Cons

  • No adoption and fostering
  • No facility touring

Amazing organization

We saw this organization at an event in Strathmore. Amazing show, amazingly educational, the kids had a blast and so did we. A real focus on facts and also that a lot of these animals are surrenders, and getting a pet should be a lifelong commitment – Nicole Morris

Easy to reach

We found a baby squirrel who fell out of the tree.  We thought it was dead and it was cold and raining outside.  It was moving a bit so i brought it in the house to get it warm. I seen it moving more so I called the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society and they asked me if I could bring it to them.  They took the little animal in and I know it is in Good Hands now.  Thank you so much. – Sharianne Schnurr

6. Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue

Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue
TestInfo
SERVICES• Adoption

• Fostering

WEBSITEhttp://www.rockymountainanimalrescue.com/
ADDRESS2126 18A Street SW Calgary T2T 4W2
CONTACT DETAILS+1 587-215-6400

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURSOpen 24 hours
Adoption fees: Not disclosed
Adoption system:  Screens adopters
Open to fostering: Yes
Open to volunteers: Yes
Accepts surrenders: No
Services and support4/5
Business practices4/5
Guidelines and policies4/5
Reputation4/5

Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue, unlike the other entries in our list, is a private sanctuary so all  transactions are by appointment only. They’re also focused on rescuing, rehabilitating, and matching adopters with the ideal pet for their lifestyles.

They’re mostly centered on dog care, however, we also found out that they sometimes have cats with them. This makes them a great avenue to adopt both animals, although it’s not something you can expect all the time.

They’re pretty strict about approving adoption applications, which is both advantageous and tedious. We like that they ensure the adopter’s environment and lifestyle before approval, but this can also mean a long waiting process.

On the other hand, we believe Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue is an excellent place to adopt if you’re truly prepared to take on the responsibility. This is because most of their adaptable animals are rescued from abusive homes, homelessness, or natural disasters.

However, if you find yourself unable to handle animals for a long period of time but still want to help them get a second chance at life, they welcome everyone to apply for their foster care program.

Overall, it’s safe to say that Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue is one of the best places to go to adopt and foster animals. It’s just that we only recommend them to people who have the time and focus to take care of them.

Pros

  • Has dogs and cats open for adoption and fostering
  • Strict application process 
  • Adopters receive one-on-one training and advice from a dog behavior expert
  • Specializes in rehabilitation and rehoming aggressive dogs
  • List of adoptable animals available on their website

Cons

  • Limited cats available for adoption
  • Majority of rescued dogs are aggressive
  • All transactions are by appointment only

Includes behavioral training

A wonderful rescue that really serves the animals. They make sure each that is adopted is placed within the right family, not just the first to apply. Behavioural training is a huge part of their process, and it works wonders. – Marti Beamish

Helped me get the perfect buddy

I have nothing but great things to say about Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue! Rory helped pair me with the perfect buddy, and has coached us both on working well together. Fingers crossed, Kody will be certified and coming to work with me soon! – Shane Jackson

7. Tails of The Misunderstood Canine Rescue Society

Tails of The Misunderstood Canine Rescue Society
TestInfo
SERVICES• Adoption

• Fostering

• Intake

WEBSITEhttps://www.tailsofthemisunderstood.com/
ADDRESS3517 17 Ave SE Unit 101, Calgary, AB T2A 0R5, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS587.572.WOOF (9663)

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURSMonday - Friday: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Adoption fees: 
• Puppies: $735.00
• Adults: $578.00
• Seniors: $368.00
Medical care covered: 
• Vaccinated
• Dewormed
• Microchipped
• Altered
Adoption system: 
• Screens adopters
• Meet and greet
Open to fostering: Yes
Open to volunteers: Yes
Accepts surrenders: Yes
Services and support4/5
Business practices3/5
Guidelines and policies3/5
Reputation4/5

Tails of the Misunderstood Canine Rescue Society is committed to rescuing dogs who have been abandoned, surrendered, or abused. So, if you’re thinking about adopting or fostering one of their dogs, expect to have a lot of options on your hands.

Information on adoptable dogs is available on their website. This section on their site is very insightful as it lists their good traits, age, breed, and things like how they interact with children and other animals.

Adoption fees are also viewable, along with all of the services that cover them. We believe it’s important to note that the adoption fee is non-refundable if the trial adoption they provide does not result in a full adoption.

Clients interested in adopting a dog from them can also expect a mandatory meet and greet with the entire family and any currently owned dogs. This is a plus for us because they take the time to get to know the people who adopt their animals.

It also speaks to how they advocate for responsible dog guardianship. This is also why we are not surprised that they are well-loved by the community.

As a matter of fact, this organization is entirely supported by public donations. So whatever keeps them running – maintenance, dog food, medical care – is reflected in how Calgary residents receive them.

Pros

  • Helpful and accommodating to all interested pet foster families
  • Informative website for interested adopters
  • All dogs are medically taken care of
  • Has foster care programs
  • Accepts volunteers
  • Mandatory meet and greet for the new family

Cons

  • Closed on weekends
  • Non-refundable adoption fee (if full adoption was not obtained)

Prompt adoption process

We had been looking at several rescues in and around Calgary, and I’m so glad that we were able to adopt our new family member from Tails of the Misunderstood.  The process (application, first phone call, home check, meeting the pup, adoption,  and follow-up) was prompt, professional,  and thorough. It was always clear that the well being of the animals and making sure that they were finding their best forever homes was the top priority. – Laura Schmaltz

Absolutely loved everything about this place. From our initial convo to the home check, to our sweet baby coming home. We cannot thank you enough!!! Thank you for giving us our baby Tigger!!!! – Marnee Hamlet

FAQs About Animal Shelters in Calgary