Dog control seeks new fines

Pat Ellis of K-9 Control suggests Spallumcheen revisit dog control

Spallumcheen’s dog control officer would like to see the township adopt a different fine structure for dog attacks, depending on the type of incident and the way such an incident unfolds.

Pat Ellis of K-9 Control told council that after attending several dog attacks on humans and domestic animals, she would like the township to revisit its dog control and voluntary licencing bylaw that would reduce less serious attacks from the current $500 down to $250.

“We believe this would lessen the number of disputes as $500 is a little high for a first or less serious offence,” said Ellis.“If a dog molests or harasses somebody, that could be traumatic for the victim, depending on the severity of the incident.

“If it’s a puppy or accident we’re quite sure it won’t happen again, we’ll issue a written warning. But $500 is kind of overkill. That’s why we’d like to see something in the middle.”

What Ellis is proposing is a bylaw amendment that would see people pay $250 fines if their dog molests passers by, approaches a person in a menacing fashion, show the apparent attitude of attack, or chases, harasses or otherwise attacks any other animal.

A dog bite, inflicting injury, attacking a person and assaulting or attacking any other animal would result in a $500 fine.

If a dog does bite somebody, it is not automatically destroyed.

“For us to have a dog destroyed, we need to have a court order,” said Ellis. “From my experiences over the past 30 years, to have a dog put down it almost has to kill you.

“If your dog bites someone severely and they have any  common sense at all, they will willingly surrender the dog to us and we will destroy it or they will have it destroyed.”

Ellis also requested council consider an amendment to the boarding fees for each dog impounded be raised from $10 per day to $15.

Council voted unanimously to receive Ellis’ report and directed staff to draft and bring forward an amendment to its dog control bylaw that reflects Ellis’ requests for council consideration.