Cats appear to be making a comeback in Coquitlam.
Statistics released Monday point to a rise in adoption rates and the number of people reclaiming their lost cats, as well as a drop in the number of felines being housed at the Coquitlam Animal Shelter.
"Cats typically have not had the same status as dogs and so unfortunately cat owners perhaps don't come as frequently to the shelter," said Andrea McDonald, Coquitlam's manager of bylaw and animal control services. "However, we are seeing some amazing changes."
Citing reasons like an increase in the use of micro-chip ID markers and a new online adoption system, McDonald said cat reunification rates have increased by 10 per cent over the last five years.
Last year's numbers show that of the 201 cats received by shelter staff, 22 per cent were reclaimed by their owners - a rise of four per cent over 2011. McDonald also noted that the shelter currently has only about 12 cats on the premises, as compared to the typical volume of between 60 and 80.
"People are coming and looking and they are claiming their cats," McDonald said. "They are starting to get the idea that identification works for reuniting [with] their cats."
The data around cats was part of a bigger discussion at Monday's council in committee meeting, one that served as an annual snapshot of the city's bylaws, business licensing and animal services during 2012.
Of the animals received by shelter staff last year, there were 380 dogs, 201 cats, 41 birds, seven rabbits and eight animals classified as "other" - typically guinea pigs, hamster or snakes.
Eighty six per cent off all dogs were reclaimed by their owners.
Currently, 25 animals are available for adoption and 18 are in foster care.
Of all the animal-related complaints received by the city, 24 per cent - or 280 - were related to dogs at large, while dead animal calls came in second (223) and stray animal pickup requests came in third (181).
Street and traffic complaints - overweight vehicles, impeding traffic and parking infractions - were far and away the highest volume of complaints received last year. More than 1,300 complaints were received, while the 431 unsightly premises complaints came in at No. 2.
Not surprisingly, street and traffic violations topped the list of ticketed offences last year.
Close to 9,000 offences were cited, bringing the city $295,711 in revenue. Animal care and control offences were ranked second, with 221 tickets issued.
And while on the topic of animal offences, both Mayor Richard Stewart and Coun. Mae Reid called on bylaws staff to clamp down on dog owners who don't abide by off-leash regulations.
The proliferation of poop, particularly in the Town Centre, was also an area of concern.
"Spirit Square has becoming a pooping ground for the apartments around it and this is not just frustrating, but it's also got some health issues," Stewart said.