The BC SPCA is applauding the City of Vernon’s move to fix its bylaws that cover basic standards of care and appropriate housing conditions for animals.
Council gave final approval to the bylaw amendments at Monday’s regular meeting.
“We’re so pleased on behalf of animals in our community to see these changes be approved,” said SPCA Vernon and District branch manager Chelsea Taylor.
In the updated bylaw, pet guardians can be fined if they fail to provide clean water and shelter, sufficient food, periodic exercise, and veterinary care when the animal displays signs of suffering or illness. Under the new regulations, no owner will be allowed to confine their animal in a space, such as a car, without sufficient shade and ventilation or leave the animal outside in extreme temperatures.
Owners cannot abandon an animal and dogs cannot be left tethered unattended for more than four hours in a 24-hour period. According to the bylaw, the tethering system must allow the dog to have adequate freedom of movement with a minimum of three-metre radius and a minimum of one-and-a-half metres from any property line.
“Having bylaws in place that address animal welfare means that animal abusers face real penalties and provides additional support for cruelty investigations,” said SPCA manager, policy and companion animals Amy Morris.
The SPCA requested an update to the city’s bylaws after it conducted a review of municipal animal bylaws in B.C., which revealed that Vernon lacked regulations regarding standards of care and housing for animals.