District not prepared for dog bylaw at this time

Barriere Council members voted to accept the report for information and directed staff discontinue researching this

There have been complaints regarding loose dogs in Barriere over the past few months.

There have been complaints regarding loose dogs in Barriere over the past few months.

District of Barriere Executive Assistant, Tasha Buchanan, reported to the Feb 18, council meeting on uncontrolled and uncontained dogs in Barriere, which continues to be an issue for many residents, noting that these dogs often cause property damage to lawns, gardens and fences.

Currently, the District of Barriere has not adopted any bylaws that deal specifically with this issue, other than in District of Barriere Parks Regulation Bylaw No. 0042, 2009, section 3.12 which states: “Dogs shall be permitted in any park only if: such dog is on a leash; or in a designated Dog Park area; and under the care and control of a competent person.” and in section 3.13 which states: “It is an offense for any person with a dog under his or her care and control to fail to immediately remove and dispose in a waste container or by other sanitary means, any fecal matter deposited by such a dog in any park.”

These regulations only apply to dogs within District parks, and not in residential or commercial areas.  Some subdivisions have private covenants  prohibiting unleashed dogs, however the municipality has no jurisdiction to enforce such private agreements.

As with any municipal service, dog control included, there are costs associated with the development of policy.  Factors that would have to be considered in order to develop an effective police would include the following:

• Adoption of a Dog Licensing Bylaw – in order to properly identify the loose dog and it’s owner

• After Hours Enforcement Personnel – funding for an enforcement officer to cover after hours and weekend call-outs

• Enforcement Personnel Training – to safely handle loose animals, special training is required

• Transport Vehicle and/or Equipment – to humanely handle and transport captured dogs

• Dog Holding Facility – the Kamloops SPCA is not interested in a contract to provide this service, so it would fall on the District to provide such a facility

• Legal Considerations – all of the above would require a thorough legal examination with consideration for reserve funds to effectively defend against potential litigation arising from enforcement of the bylaw

Simply ticketing an owner for a roaming dog is an option, however, unless a District employee is able to arrive on site, locate the dog, take a photo of the dog uncontrolled, is able to identify the owner and be able to speak to that owner at that time, it would be difficult to effectively defend.

Council members voted to accept the report for information and directed staff discontinue researching this until otherwise directed.