City of Lacombe is working on a new Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw File Photo by Red Deer Advocate

Lacombe tweaking proposed animal ownership bylaw

Biggest change coming in bylaw is introduction of cat licensing

Lacombe’s proposed responsible pet ownership bylaw will get a little grooming.

A name change is one of the suggestions from city council, which reviewed the new regulations on Monday night.

After all, bees and urban hens, not to mention livestock — all of which are covered by the bylaw — are not what most people think of as pets, reasoned councillors.

The Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw is likely how the new regulations will go on the books.

The biggest changes coming are the introduction of cat licences and a move to make registering cat and dogs a one-time requirement.

The goal of licensing cats is to improve the record of them being returned to their owners and to promote spaying or neutering by charging less for those pet licences, and less still if the pet is tagged with an identifying microchip or tattooed.

Registering an unaltered dog or cat would involve a one-time fee of $150. That fee is only $75 if the animal is spayed or neutered, or if it has an identifying microchip or tattoo.

For animals that have been spayed or neutered and have an identifying tattoo or microchip, the one-time licence fee is only $15.

Several other minor tweaks were suggested for the bylaw’s final version, such as dropping a requirement that all cats and dogs wear a collar.

The bylaw will also clarify that those planning to have bees must have permission from the town’s chief administrative officer.

A revamped bylaw is expected to come before council for final approval on Feb. 25. At that time, council will decide when the new regulations should kick in.

There will be an education period so residents know about the new bylaw before any enforcement is undertaken.

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