Red Deer wants to update and consolidate its bylaws for animals and pets in the city, and is calling for feedback from Red Deerians.
People can fill out a survey at by Feb. 26 to provide their opinions, concerns and to discuss the types of animals that should be allowed.
“We’re definitely in the exploratory stage to determine what should be included, and what shouldn’t, and why. We’ve had inquiries about bees and pigeons, ducks. We’re just looking to explore what the citizens think about any type of animal, whether they are pro or against,” said Amy Fengstad, parking and licensing supervisor.
“This is a great opportunity for people. We’re open to everything. We want to hear that feedback.”
She said home sustainability has definitely sparked conversation about different types of animals, and the interest in exotic pets has also grown.
“It will be interesting to see the kind of feedback that comes in.”
Red Deer currently has separate bylaws for dogs, cats and chickens. In 1996, the Cat Bylaw was implemented and needs updating. In 2009, a new Dog Bylaw addressed aggressive dogs and the ownership of dogs in general. In 2014, a Chicken Bylaw was introduced to regulate and control the keeping of chickens.
Fengstad said over the years complaints have come in about roaming cats so this is an opportunity for people to speak up about their frustrations regarding animals.
“We genuinely want to hear from the public about how we make animals safer in the city. How do we encourage responsible pet ownership regardless of the type of animal?”
She said after the survey deadline, city staff will filter through the feedback to help develop the bylaw. A draft bylaw will be posted for the public to review before it goes to city council before the end of year.
A new bylaw could be in place by early 2022.
Fengstad said not many municipalities have looked at bylaws for animals beyond cats and dogs. While it’s not a new concept, Red Deer may be one of the first to explore the “whole animal bylaw concept.”
Survey can be found online at reddeer.ca/AnimalBylaw.