One Armstrong resident believes city council has no bark when it comes to enforcing its own dog regulation bylaw.
Len Eddy presented council with his concern about a neighbour he claims, houses “three aggressive pit bulls,” in direct contravention of the city’s bylaw.
The ordinance states “no person or dwelling unit shall keep or harbour more than two dogs.”
“The ultimate purpose of this meeting is to determine why the mayor and council have failed to adhere to the content of the bylaw,” said Eddy, a retired 29-year RCMP member, whose objections to the dogs and council’s interpretation of the bylaw and lack of enforcement were printed in a Letter to the Editor in The Morning Star March 14. Eddy’s letter received plenty of feedback, positive and negative, on the newspaper’s website and Facebook page.
“This matter is no more complicated or clear than the contents of the said bylaw. I still have three dogs living next door to me, which contravenes the bylaw.”
The dogs’ owner, Megan Creel, points out that her pets – Diesel, 13, Shady, 10, and Carl, nine – are not, in fact, pit bulls. One is a bull mastiff, one is an American bulldog and the other is a presa canario.
Creel said the only person who has spoken out about her dogs is Eddy.
“Mr. Eddy has complained directly to me once,” said Creel, a horse trainer who said she also spent a year as an assistant trainer with a Vernon-based professional dog training company.
“There have been no other complaints.”
That statement was backed up by city community services manager Warren Smith.
“We have received no direct complaints in regards to those dogs other than from Mr. Eddy,” said Smith.
It’s not the first time the city has heard from Eddy on the issue.
He sought a pit bull ban in December 2016, which council denied in May of 2017. The city did investigate the neighbour’s dogs at Eddy’s request and wrote a letter of warning to Creel on May 30, 2017, advising that the city’s dog regulation bylaw prohibits the possession of more than two dogs per household.
“If you do have three dogs, we are certainly not requiring you to remove one of the dogs in order to be in compliance with the bylaw,” stated Smith in the letter. “We only ask that when the time comes when you have two dogs, that you refrain from once again possessing more than two dogs.”
Smith said in his latest investigation into Eddy’s complaint, he has spoke with neighbours and has received no complaints or concerns over the dogs.
Mayor Chris Pieper, in a letter to Eddy, said council is satisfied with the level of enforcement applied.
“The city has not had any grounds to impound the three dogs,” said Pieper, “in that the dogs are not running loose and at large, and we have no reason to believe that these specific dogs present a danger to the citizens of Armstrong.”
Pieper said his council believes they hold the interests of all citizens at the forefront of their deliberations.
“This issue has been reviewed a number of times in the last 18 months,” he said. “This council has reestablished the existing bylaw, the existing levels of enforcement and the existing management of those resources.”
Pieper said the city is aware of more than 25 properties within the city boundaries that currently have three dogs.