Penticton city council voted in favour of giving dog control bylaws more teeth to deal with things like aggressive, biting canines and dogs in hot cars.
At the Sept. 7 meeting, council gave first, second and third reading to change the current responsible dog owner bylaw to ‘animal control’ to better reflect the type of calls the current dog control officer is dealing with.
“Unfortunately we deal with all sorts of animal welfare issues, involving tethering dogs, and stray cats and kittens as well as dangerous dogs,” said bylaw supervisor Tina Mercier who spoke to council along with Penticton dog control officer Elizabeth Bigg.
“We have seen some serious injuries of our residents suffering from dog bites. We’ve had 90 calls for service for aggressive dogs since 2018,” said Mercier.
So far, eight dogs have been deemed aggressive and two dangerous, said Bigg.
With the new bylaws, there is more control to increase license fees for dangerous dogs.
The new bylaws also can give power to order veterinarian care for animals that are neglected and needing help.
Both spoke about some very sad cases of dogs suffering while the owner didn’t seek medical treatment to help with things like open wounds, or excessive matting or eye infections.
The new bylaws will also let animal control better deal with dogs in hot cars.
Dog control has also been called out to home recently that had 40 cats in the home in Penticton.
“The community wants this and there is a greater need to help regulate animal issues in Penticton,” said Mercier.
Animal control does not deal with wildlife however. Issues with urban deer, raccoons and coyotes are dealt with by conservation officers.
Council also supported a mid-year budget amendment adding $14,000 to the 2021 animal control budget and $20,000 from the capital reserve for improvements to the facility that houses the stray animals as well as animals involved in the ALERT program.
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