If there’s one kind of relationship that can always be depended on, that’s between pets and pet owners. Edmonton has quite a fair number of registered and licenced pets. Nearly 1 in 10 people living in Edmonton own a pet, with the vast majority of those Edmontonians owning at least one of the most loyal of all companions, the dog! Dogs and cats are widespread throughout the residential areas of town, and their distributions can vary depending on which residences allow what kinds of pets.
Taking a look at the 2018 registered pet data pulled from the City of Edmonton, I have extracted total population of cats and dogs separately. The data is then counted by how many dogs and cats are in each neighbourhood. Heat maps show where dogs and cats are distributed throughout the city, respectively. Clicking on the legend items in the collapsed list in the upper right, you can turn on and off different layers to see the comparisons between distributions of cats, dogs, and the type of housing in the city.
Examining the tabular data and running the analyses, a few observations can be made:
– Dog distributions are mostly spread throughout the city, with the highest concentrations in neighbourhoods mainly comprised of single family housing.
– Cat distributions are clustered in the areas of town where apartment living is dominant, with the highest populations in Oliver, Alberta Ave, Strathcona, Westmount, and Downtown areas.
– Though there are a great variety of cat breeds in the city, over 2/3 of cat breeds in Edmonton are the Domestic Shorthairs.
– The top ten most common large and medium sized dog breeds are Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Stafforsdshire Terriers, Standard Poodles, Boxers, Australian Shepherds, and Rottweilers. These dogs are generally clustered around the River Valley Park System, and also along the Whitemud and Mill Creek watersheds.
– The top ten most common small dog breeds are Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Bichon Frises, Pomeranians, Malteses, Havanese, Miniature Schnauzers, Terriers (uncategorized), and Pugs. Small dogs are grouped generally away from the centre of the city.
To protect the privacy of each registered pet owner, point coordinates used to generate the heat map were based on the Neighbourhood polygon’s centroid. In generating the heat map, a radius of 1.5 km (or approximately 1 mile) was used to count the instances of points falling within that radius. Though there is a presence of feral cats, they are not accounted for in the licenced pet count.
As the population of the city grows, no doubt the population of pets will grow along with it. But there are plenty of cats, dogs, and other deserving pets who are still looking for a new home. If you decide to add a new furry, scaly or feathered family member to your household, adopt! There are plenty of local rescue societies that are looking for new homes for the many pets who have been rescued. As a proud parent of two lovable dogs from a rescue, I urge you to consider adoption first!
Whitecourt Homeless Animal Rescue Foundation