Frequently Asked Questions

  • If you have had an encounter with an aggressive dog, please phone us at 604-519-2008 to provide a detailed account to an Animal Services Officer. The more information you have, the better we will be able to investigate.

  • Dogs will bark from time to time. It becomes a concern if it is "continuous sound" which disturbs the quiet, peace, rest, comfort, convenience or enjoyment of the neighbourhood. Per our bylaw, “Continuous Sound” means any noise or sound continuing for a period of, or periods totaling, three minutes or more of any fifteen minute period.


    If you wish to make a formal complaint about a dog owner allowing their dog to make continuous sound, please call us at 604-519-2008. We require the exact location (street address) of the offending dog, the time of day barking occurs, duration of barking, and a description of the dog.

    When a barking complaint has been received, an Animal Services Officer will contact the owner and bring the matter to their attention.

    You may be asked to keep a log of the barking/noise as evidence. Please note that more than one complainant (from different households) is required to keep a log, unless video/audio evidence is provided. 

  • Contact us at 604-519-2008 with the location of the deceased animal and we will dispatch an Animal Services Officer to retrieve them. The more specific the location, the faster we will find the deceased animal. This is particularly important with domestic animals as they often have an owner looking for them.

    If it is after hours, and the animal is a domestic pet, you can bring the remains to a nearby veterinary hospital for safekeeping.

  • The New Westminster Animal Shelter values each and every animal that enters our doors. Our first objective is to reunite lost animals with their rightful owners. For those animals who stay with us, our goal is to find loving adopters. Occasionally, we may transfer some animals to other shelters or rescue organizations.

    Unfortunately, some animals arrive in our care with significant physical and/or mental suffering. If we cannot address this suffering, and/or the animal poses a significant risk to the public, we believe it is our responsibility to consider euthanasia. Typically, our euthanasia rate is 3-4% of all the animals who come to our shelter. This low rate meets the parameters of the commonly-used term “no kill”. We do not euthanize animals based on factors such as age, duration of stay, or treatable medical conditions.

    What No Kill Really Means

  • When an animal arrives in our care, we check for identification and attempt to contact the owner to inform them their pet has been impounded. After the stray hold period of 96 hours, the animal legally belongs to the shelter and can be put up for adoption.

    Note: When coming to claim your pet, please be prepared to provide identification.


    If an Animal Services Officer picks up a stray dog and it is wearing a current New Westminster dog license, we will attempt to contact the registered owner. If the dog is returned without being impounded at the shelter, no fees will apply. This is a one-time courtesy.

    Note: if the dog is unlicensed, we cannot contact the dog owner, or the dog has been loose before, we will impound the dog and fees will apply.


    Impound fees for cats vary depending on if the cat is sterilized and/or identified.

  • We know it can be very stressful when a beloved pet goes missing. Here are some tips.

    1) Call us at 604-519-2008 to see if your pet is here or if we've received a matching Found report. If not, we will create a Lost report with all the pertinent information.

    2) Keep an eye on our Facebook page as we post Found Pets when we cannot find their owner right away.

    3) Post a Lost Pet ad on networking sites such Pawboost & Missing Pets in BC, and in social media apps like Facebook and Nextdoor. Remember to update if your pet is found.

    4) Search your neighbourhood. Speak with neighbours, mail carriers, etc. Some tips for looking for your lost pet:

    • Keep in mind your pet's personality: do they get spooked easily and tend to run away? If so, then you might have to expand your search beyond your immediate area. However, if your pet is very friendly towards people, chances are someone might find it before it gets too far. Knowing your pet’s behaviour will help you in your search.
    • Create an eye-catching poster, keeping it simple: "Missing!" a big, colour photo of your pet, and a phone number. Place posters at intersections, in front of apartment buildings, and any high visibility area. Drop them off at veterinary hospitals, pet stores, and of course, our animal shelter.

    Don't forget! Please update us if your pet is found.

  • Important: If you see a loose dog without an owner around, this is an urgent matter. Please call us at 604-519-2008 (press zero). Provide us with as much information as possible – size/colour of dog, direction in which they were moving, and exact location you saw them last.

    If you have found a domestic animal that you believe is lost, please call us at 604-519-2008. We will check our Lost Pet Reports to see if someone has reported the pet missing. We will also try to trace any identification the pet may have, such as a tattoo or microchip. If you find a pet after hours, we regret that we are unable to assist until we open the next morning. However, there are veterinary hospitals who will either help you search for permanent ID or even possibly house the stray animal overnight until we open. 

    You can also advertise the found pet virtually on sites/apps such as Pawboost, Missing Pets in BC, Facebook, Nextdoor, etc. 

    Dogs, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, pet birds, etc. are not allowed to roam in our municipality. Please phone us at 604-519-2008 to file a Found Report. If we cannot find the owner, the animal can be brought to us for safe-keeping.

    Cats are allowed to roam, as long as they are spayed/neutered and have permanent identification. Chances are the cat belongs to someone, especially if they are friendly. Check with your neighbours to see if they recognize the cat. We don't want to inadvertently remove a cat from their home neighbourhood, as this decreases the chance of reunion significantly. However, if you think the cat is truly homeless or you are worried about their health/safety, please contact us at 604-519-2008.