New Lacombe bylaw includes cat licensing

Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw passed on Monday

City of Lacombe has passed a new Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw that introduces cat licensing.

The bylaw encourages pet owners to register their cats and dogs with the city, have them spayed or neutered, and identified so that lost pets can be returned to their owners.

Several existing bylaws have been combined into one bylaw dealing with animal control and covering all regulated animals – dogs, cats, urban hens, bees and livestock.

“A new feature of the bylaw is the introduction of a cat-licensing program to allow staff to return impounded cats to their owners,” said director of corporate services Diane Piché. “We want to encourage cat owners to have their animals altered and identifiable; therefore, to give owners time to comply, the city will not enforce cat licences until January 2020.”

The rest of the bylaw takes effect immediately.

The new bylaw provides for a one-time licence that is valid for the lifetime of the animal, rather than requiring an annual renewal. The only exception is if an animal is declared to be a nuisance or vicious.

“I believe this bylaw strikes a balance between respecting the rights of pet owners and enabling bylaw staff to responsibly administer the regulations set out by council,” says Mayor Grant Creasey.

“Responsible pet owners understand and appreciate the value and peace of mind that microchipping offers in the quick identification and return of their beloved animals in case they get lost.”

Paid 2019 dog licences will be transferred to lifetime licenses as long as the owner can provide proof of altering and microchip identification on the animal. If no proof can be provided, but the dog has been altered and/or microchipped, the owner may attest to this in front of a Commissioner of Oaths (provided by the municipality at City Hall). This process will also apply to cats.

For more information go to www.lacombe.ca.

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