Red Deer drafts new responsible pet ownership bylaw

Almost 18 months after the City of Red Deer asked for public input on pet ownership bylaws, a new bylaw has been partially drafted.

According to a press release Wednesday, the city said hundreds of pet owners contributed feedback.

“Based on resident input, a draft Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw was created and includes the addition of cat licensing, exploring the option of anniversary pet license renewal dates instead of annual, specific requirements for ensuring animal welfare, and prohibiting exotic and poisonous animals,” said Amy Fengstad, Parking and Licensing Supervisor.

“Now we want to hear from residents to see if we got it right, and have a few more questions before we finalize the draft bylaw.”

The top five issues for residents were:

  • Cats roaming: respondents concerned about cats roaming causing property damage, risk to wild birds, aggravating other pets, and unwanted feces and odour from spraying.
  • Dogs roaming off-leash: respondents concerned about dogs being walked off-leash, lack of control on the part of dog owners, and rambunctious or aggressive behaviour towards people or other people.
  • Dog feces: Respondents concerned with dog feces left in the community and at dog off-leash parks.
  • Dogs barking: Respondents are frustrated by barking disrupting peace and quiet in their homes and yards, and an acknowledgment that bylaw / animal control responding to this issue is onerous and inefficient.
  • More people want to have chickens: Respondents are largely in favor of being able to raise chickens on their properties and would like to see the ability enhanced so more families could attain permits.

Residents are now being asked to review the draft bylaw and provide their input until Oct. 21. According to the release, the bylaw is meant to “simplify municipal processes by creating one bylaw to speak to all aspects of pet ownership instead of having multiple bylaws related to each animal and associated issues”.

For those looking to provide feedback, head to reddeer.ca/animalbylaw.

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