Dog bylaw delayed

A new Red Deer dog bylaw is being postponed after city council raised questions on Monday over the designation of aggressive dogs, controlling pets in public areas and fines for first-time licence offenders.

A new Red Deer dog bylaw is being postponed after city council raised questions on Monday over the designation of aggressive dogs, controlling pets in public areas and fines for first-time licence offenders.

Council deferred a decision for up to six weeks so administration could address the issues.

Councillor Lynne Mulder heralded the bylaw for addressing aggressive dogs for the first time but was concerned with a policy to be used to evaluate dogs for aggressive behaviours.

That policy includes six levels, one being the lowest in severity.

She said that Level 1 gave her some concern because it speaks about dogs who growl, bark and lunge.

These are natural behaviours when dogs feel threatened, she said.

The policy should apply to dogs who do these actions “without provocation,” she said.

Councillor Tara Veer frowned on the bylaw, suggesting a $250 fine for those who didn’t licence their pooch.

“I understand compliance is around 50 or 60 per cent (when it comes to licensing),” she said. “The $250 seems extreme on a first-time offence. Some people may not legitimately know.”

Councillor Cindy Jefferies questioned how much control was needed for dogs in public areas when the owner is being responsible.

One owner wrote to City Hall saying he was infuriated that an owner could be fined $250 for throwing a ball for a dog, since it is considered to be off leash and at large.

“Common sense should prevail,” Jefferies said.

Bylaw research co-ordinator Jennifer Smith said animal control officers will have discretion on whether to fine someone.

Smith also the city doesn’t have council’s mandate, the resources or provincial authority to enforce existing provincial animal welfare legislation.

Councillor Gail Parks said animal welfare issues are of concern to a number of people and wondered if bylaw officers could handle animal welfare complaints. Potentially, this could be done, Smith replied.

“We see irresponsible owners with dogs in the back of a truck . . . when it’s hot, cold, rainy,” Parks said. “It’s something that totally irks me.”

Red Deer and District SPCA executive director Monte Greenshields said the animal welfare authority, the Alberta SPCA, only has one officer for all of Central Alberta.

“The city says we aren’t set up to do (animal welfare) through our current service provider,” he said, referring to Alberta Animal Services. “That doesn’t mean we can’t have rules for animal welfare.”

He would also like to see the bylaw focus more on education and less on penalization.

Just Posted

Record-breaking year in Red Deer for smoke

Expect more smoke in Red Deer Wednesday

Mustard Seed prepares people for workforce

Employment Readiness Fair to be held August 28

Update: Bomb squad investigating suspicious package in Red Deer

North police station closed as they investigate

Whispering Pines raises $40,000 for STARS

The golf and country resort held its fifth annual STARS Charity Golf Tournament this past weekend

Man dies in vehicle rollover west of Red Deer

Rocky Mountain House RCMP investigate

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending programs

OTTAWA — The minister in charge of Canada’s latest national plan to… Continue reading

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program from Aimia

TORONTO — A consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month