Council approves first reading of proposed pet bylaw amendment

Amendment would allow residents to own up to four dogs or five cats per household

Council approved first reading of a proposed amendment to the pet ownership bylaw that would allow residents to register up to four dogs or five cats per household at their Oct. 15 meeting.

Currently, the bylaw allows residents to have up to two dogs and three cats per household. If second and third reading of the bylaw amendment are approved, residents would be allowed to apply for a permit to have any combination of five animals, up to a maximum of four dogs.

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Following a question from Coun. Jeff Fountain about the wording of a document relating to the amendment, Coun. Les Ellsworth said committee members and councillors had spent enough time discussing this amendment and that first reading should be approved so that the public can voice their opinions before second and third reading.

“Any citizens or councillors will have a chance before the second reading to bring forward concerns for or against,” said Mayor Colleen Smook.

The public safety committee agreed at their Oct. 10 meeting to let the proposed excess animal permit go to council for first reading.

“I’ve removed the home inspection from the amended bylaw and the process,” said fire and public safety director Mike Bourgon at that meeting.

That move was in line with what committee chair Fountain and committee member Coun. Duncan Wong said they wanted at the September public safety meeting, when sending the proposed bylaw change to council was rejected.

Fountain said Oct. 10 that he wouldn’t have any objection to the animal control officer going in to do home inspections when there is a complaint regarding a person’s pets. He previously said he didn’t support a mandatory home inspection prior to the excess animal permit being approved. Wong said in September that he didn’t need a home inspection to get a rifle or a handgun licence so requiring one for an extra dog seemed excessive

If approved, the excess animal permit will include a first-time permit fee of $74 pee animal, with half that amount being charged for the same animals in subsequent years. People who wish to have more than two dogs or three cats will also have to obtain a certificate of health from a veterinarian for all animals in the household prior to the permit being approved.

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