Rocky pet bylaw focuses on responsible ownership

The Town of Rocky Mountain House has a new tougher dog and cat bylaw that focuses more on pet owners.

The Town of Rocky Mountain House has a new tougher dog and cat bylaw that focuses more on pet owners.

The Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw was passed by town council earlier this month, replacing the town’s former Cat and Dog bylaw. It is the result of well-attended and lengthy public consultations after several dog attacks.

In one case last year, three loose dogs attacked and injured an 86-year-old senior and her dog right after they first attacked a jogger and her dog on the same community trail. The dogs were pit bulls, which led to calls for breed specific legislation.

However, during the public consultations, council heard from owners of pit bulls and rottweilers that the issue was not about a specific dog breed. Rather, it was about responsible owners, Brad Dollevoet, the town’s director of Planning and Community Development, said Wednesday.

When the town looked at dog attacks, it often had to do with negligence of the animals, he said.

“That creates the environment for these dogs to get violent, to be aggressive. So in order to focus on prevention, we’re trying to focus on ownership, and creating healthy environments for dogs and cats to live in town.”

The new bylaw has a section that puts the onus on dog and cat owners to make sure their pets have adequate food and water, adequate care if they are ill or wounded, reasonable protection from extreme temperatures and proper opportunity for exercise.

As well, owners are required to adequately maintain a containment or structure that will prevent the dog or cat from leaving the owner’s property.

Fines have also been increased, in most instances by $50, and in a number of cases, including some related to aggressive dog attacks, there’s an automatic court appearance.

“It gives our office more tools in enforcing the bylaw,” said Dollevoet.

Regarding enforcement, council decided in its last budget to hire a third community peace officer, who would focus on animal control. They found the money by deciding to not renew an agreement it had with a private contractor for animal control.

barr@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

1 in 7 Albertans have been tested for COVID-19

56 additional cases Thursday, 1,107 active cases remain in the province

Severe thunderstorm watch and heat warning issued for Red Deer and area

Red Deer and region are under both a heat warning and severe… Continue reading

Anti-bullying ride coming to Red Deer to support eight-year-old girl

A Red Deer girl who has been a victim of bullying for… Continue reading

Residents urged to fight energy industry tax breaks

County of Stettler and Lacombe County say tax breaks could cost them millions

Central Alberta pharmacies ramp up COVID-19 testing

Province extended 20-pharmacy pilot project to more than 90 last month

Protestors for Indigenous Lives Matter gather in Wetaskiwin

Protestors gathered along 56 St Wetaskiwin, Alta. August 4, 2020 for Indigenous Lives Matter.

Dubois, Blue Jackets down Leafs 4-3 in overtime to grab 2-1 series lead

Dubois, Blue Jackets down Leafs 4-3 in overtime to grab 2-1 series lead

Canadian featherweight Kyle (The Monster) Nelson to face Billy Quarantillo

Canadian featherweight Kyle (The Monster) Nelson to face Billy Quarantillo

Jason Day leads PGA as Koepka continues to be a major force

Jason Day leads PGA as Koepka continues to be a major force

Canadian Gavin Tucker looks to grind down Justin (Guitar Hero) Jaynes on UFC card

Canadian Gavin Tucker looks to grind down Justin (Guitar Hero) Jaynes on UFC card

Chicago scores two goals late, beats Edmonton 4-3 in NHL post-season

Chicago scores two goals late, beats Edmonton 4-3 in NHL post-season

Canucks beat Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying game

Canucks beat Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying game

Laughton scores twice to lead Flyers past Capitals 3-1

Laughton scores twice to lead Flyers past Capitals 3-1

Braves’ Markakis hits walkoff HR after opting into season

Braves’ Markakis hits walkoff HR after opting into season

Most Read