The Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) wants to make it easier to report dangerous animals to authorities.
As part of the Animal Control Officer for the Dangerous Dogs program proposed in July, the TNRD is in the process of hiring a new bylaw officer whose job would be to deal with potentially dangerous dogs.
The program will expand fining capabilities and will introduce four new fines and update Bylaw 2383 with a minor changes.
The current bylaw does not allow officers to issue financial penalties related to the bylaw but instead gives authority to seize and destroy dangerous dogs depending on the severity of the situation and if multiple warning letters have been issued to the owner.
The decision was discussed during a July TNRD board decision at public meeting.According to the TNRD, over the last six months, there have been two cases that have resulted in severe injuries, both to humans, which may have been avoided if fines were a tool available during earlier investigations. A dangerous dog is classified as “any dog that has killed or seriously injured a person, has killed or seriously injured a domestic animal in a public place or while on private property, other than property owned or occupied by the person responsible for the dog, or an Animal Control Officer has reasonable grounds to believe is likely to kill or seriously injure a person.”
Along with two of the fines will come the option of entering into a ‘compliance agreement,’ which means a record will be kept regarding the problem dog or dogs, and the owner will then have to follow up with the TNRD to allow for a more thorough and immediate follow-up actions by the TNRD’s new bylaw officer. If the offender does not comply, they could be subjected to the seizure of their animal under the new rules of the Dangerous Dogs program.
‘The fines range from $150 to $500 depending on the ticket issued. All the revenue generated from the fines will go back into the Dangerous Dog Control service program as revenue that will be used to offset future taxation, according to the TNRD. The total payment is estimated to be minor at approximately $1,000 to $2,000 annually.
For more information about the new bylaw, you can visit https://www.tnrd.ca/services/community-services/dangerous-dogs.