Dog limit in county closer to being dropped

Richard Froese
South Peace News
Dogs will be allowed in hamlets in any numbers an owner wishes under a proposed amendment to the animal control bylaw in Big Lakes County.

At its regular meeting March 15, council gave second reading to the bylaw that would remove the limit of three dogs per property in a hamlet.

Council postponed third and final reading for a future meeting.

“It has been the experience of the animal control officer that dog complaints and problems are not generally associated with the number per household,” says a report from Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.

Several councillors expressed that the proposed bylaw, supported by the county’s solicitors, is lengthy, with 14 pages, with too many details.

“Can’t we make this simple?”, asks Prairie Echo – Salt Prairie Councillor Dave Marx.
“If you don’t look after your dogs, we will.”

However, Reeve Ken Matthews says the entire bylaw is required or the county could be challenged in court.

“Lawyers are trying to make rules to keep us out of trouble,” Kinuso Councillor Ken Killeen says.

Joussard Councillor Ed Podollan suggests that the county make its own rules, and not the lawyers.

Despite the extensive regulations, one councillor says that most residents comply.

“This is made for one per cent of the people,” Marx says. “Most people don’t cause a problem.”

Several councillors are optimistic that the dog issue will be more manageable when the county hires its first bylaw enforcement officer in the coming months for a one-year contract.

Currently, the position is posted with an application deadline of April 14.

“The county’s animal control officer has recommended the changes to provide clarity to the bylaw and to reflect the county’s procedures with regard to impoundment and euthanasia of feral and aggressive dogs,” Olansky says.

The bylaw also proposes to add a procedure. In any case where a dog is found to be feral, aggressive, or in any other capacity, is a threat to humans, livestock, or other domestic animals, and it has been determined by the animal control officer that the dog should be euthanized to prevent harm to humans or other animals, the dog may be euthanized

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