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.

  • If you wish to make a formal complaint, call us at 604-519-2008. Information such as the exact location (street address) of the offending dog, the time of day barking occurs, duration of barking, and description of dog helps us address the issue more efficiently.

    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.

  • Contact us with the location of the deceased animal and we will dispatch an Animal Services Officer. 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.

  • 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.

  • Contact us immediately if your pet is missing. We will file a Lost Pet Report in our database and check our Found Pets Reports to see if there is a match. We can also provide you with information or phone numbers of organizations that may assist you in your search.

    Some tips for looking for your lost pet:

    1. Start looking right away! 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.
    2. Distribute posters and flyers in your search area. Make sure you have a photo, and include any information about ID and/or distinguishing marks. Include your contact information – a cell phone number is best. Place posters at intersections, in front of apartment buildings, and any high visibility area. If calls from sightings come in, you should put up posters in the area that your pet was recently seen. Leave your posters up for as long as possible but remove them if you find your pet.
    3. Post a Lost Pet ad on networking sites such as Craigslist, Kijiji, and Facebook. Remember to remove it if your pet is found.
    4. Check all shelters, veterinary hospitals, and pet stores in your area. Provide them with the posters that you made.
  • 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.

    Dogs are not allowed to roam in New Westminster. Please 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 the dog, you can bring them to the shelter at 420 Boyne Street during regular hours, or we may be able to pick them up. Please phone us at 604-519-2008 first.

    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 do not want to inadvertently have someone’s cat removed from her/his neighbourhood. 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. If you have the cat, you can them to the shelter at 420 Boyne Street during regular hours, or we may be able to pick them up. Please phone us at 604-519-2008 first.