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Cat Admissions at the ACCC

At the Animal Care & Control Centre (ACCC), we are passionate about animals and care for each one as if they are our own. ACCC is committed to being a safe harbour for sick, injured and lost cats as well as victims of animal neglect, cruelty and abandonment.  But, consistent overcrowding conditions and the goal to provide the best care possible have prompted us to make changes. Therefore, we are asking citizens to make an appointment before they bring us healthy lost, stray or feral cats. 

Why is the City Moving to this Method?

Cat overcrowding has become an unfortunate reality at ACCC. When too many cats are in the shelter, we are unable to provide the level of care they need. Overcrowded conditions lead to increased illness, more stress on cats and staff, higher euthanasia rates and result in fewer animals being transferred out for adoption. 

Having a scheduled intake approach will allow for the centre to match incoming cats with outgoing placement into rescue and other feral cat programs. Scheduled intake is a best practice that has been adopted by shelters throughout North America with great success. Animal shelter practices across North American including ours, have adopted a Capacity for Care Model (C4C) using the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare as a framework. 

A Scheduled Intake model improves the chances cats will find homes, ensures each cat is well cared for and gives every cat in our care the adequate space they need to live in the shelter in comfort. 

Alternatives to Intake

Is an animal shelter always the best option for a lost or stray cat?  Not always. 

While there will always be a need to care for cats at the ACCC, most cats do not need to be sheltered. In fact, there are almost always better alternatives to intake that can provide humane, long-lasting solutions that helps free up shelter capacity to better serve the animals truly in need of admission.

Shelter admission may not serve every cat well in every situation. (source: Million Cat Challenge)

Scheduled Intake Guidelines

It is important to determine which cats require priority intake into ACCC versus those that are currently thriving and can either be left where it was found or be put on the waitlist and scheduled an appointment for intake.

Priority Intake

If you have found an animal that fits these criteria, please call 311 to talk to an animal care representative.

  • Obviously ill (thin, weak, not mobile, any discharge from eyes or nose)

  • Injured (wounds, limping, bleeding)

  • Kittens under two months old that have no mother and the finder cannot care for them

  • Very pregnant (imminent birth)

  • Below -20C with windchill where the finder is unable to bring inside and they feel the cat is in distress 

Note: If it is after business hours and the cat is in distress or injured, please take it to Guardian Veterinary Centre as they offer 24-hour emergency service and receives lost pets on the City’s behalf.  This service is for emergency cases only


Appointments can be made by calling 311. 

If you need a trap, please call 311 to make an appointment.

Schedule Your ACCC Appointment

You can using our online forms to schedule your visit to the ACCC.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare?

These Five Freedoms are globally recognized as the gold standard in animal welfare, encompassing both the mental and physical well-being of animals. They include: 

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst 

  • Freedom from discomfort 

  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease

  • Freedom to express normal and natural behaviour

  • Freedom from fear and distress

How is the welfare of cats improved by a Scheduled Intake method?

This model optimizes the number of cats who are in the shelter at any given time. This ensures each cat in our care is well cared for. This model is not unlike how most people make doctor’s appointments for non-emergency care. 

Benefits include:

  • Food and sleeping area is separate from litter area

  • Adequate space to express normal behaviour

  • More time for staff to provide enrichment

  • More time for staff to deal with other cats that have more immediate health issues or injuries

  • Better values the time of all ACCC staff and curbs the swing between being under-utilized and overwhelmed

  • More ability to care for animals that are seized and brought in under the Animal Protection Act as well as emergency care needs animals

Related Info

For More Information

Animal Care & Control Centre

13550 - 163 Street
Edmonton, AB

Facility information and hours

Telephone In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311
Online Contact 311
Fax 780-496-8824

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