A spay and neuter subsidy program for low-income pet owners and enhanced licensing services are among the ideas Edmonton city council will consider next week in an attempt to reduce the number of cats and dogs that are euthanized each year.
The programs were outlined in two city reports released Thursday and will be considered at council's committee services committee next week.
Other ideas include a program to trap, spay and neuter feral cats, grants to pet rescue groups, and a new fee structure, where it would cost more money to license a pet that hasn't been spayed or neutered.
The city is eager to find ways to cut down on the number of adoptable animals that have to be put down each year.
Only nine per cent of the 4,997 cats that came to city animal control in 2009 were picked by their owners. In comparison, 66 per cent of the 3,042 lost dogs were claimed.
Some of the programs would make it easier for people to license their pets by making the service available at pet stores, veterinary clinics and pet rescue groups. Lifetime licenses and free or low-cost microchip implants for all licensed pets could also be offered.
The city is also looking at setting up a new veterinary clinic. The facility would only look after stray animals and would not compete with privately owned clinics.
While this option is under consideration, administration is recommending the city increase its existing veterinary services contract by $50,000.
Licensing more pets as well as raising the fees could pay for the new programs.