Thompson-Nicola Regional District now has a dangerous dog control bylaw, but it doesn’t apply to any of the electoral areas in the North Thompson Valley.
“The bylaw in its current form provided limited reactive solutions to dangerous dogs,” commented Tim Pennell, TNRD director for Wells Gray Country (Area A). “I felt that by the time a dog issue got to the point where the bylaw would deal with the problem it would already be an RCMP issue.”
Pennell pointed out that the service would be relatively expensive.
“Many of the costs of the service are at this time unknown, including both legal and boarding costs, which could be substantial,” he said. “A dog could have to be boarded at TNRD expense for two years while the legal process ran its course.”
The Wells Gray Country director also said that the service provider would be located at some distance, which would result in delayed response times.
The bylaw took effect Jan. 1, and is only enforced in Electoral Areas I (Blue Sky Country), M (Beautiful Nicola Valley-North), N (Beautiful Nicola Valley-South), and P (Rivers and the Peaks).
The directors for electoral areas A (Wells Gray Country), B (Thompson Headwaters) and O (Lower North Thompson) chose not to participate.
The dangerous dog control bylaw, whose parameters are defined in TNRD Bylaw No. 2383, 2013, is not breed-specific in that it does not discriminate against certain breeds. It applies only to dangerous dogs, not unlicensed dogs, dogs at large, or aggressive dogs.
Under TNRD Bylaw No. 2383, a dangerous dog means any dog that:
(a) has killed or seriously injured a person,
(b) 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
(c) an animal control officer has reasonable grounds to believe is likely to kill or seriously injure a person.
“The dangerous dog control bylaw was brought in by the board of directors as a way to increase safety within these four electoral areas,” said Ron Storie, manager of community services. “Before, there was little recourse for those who live in rural areas if they or their animals experienced one of these horrific attacks.”
The animal control service has been contracted out to K-9 Services, which will be responsible for enforcement in the four participating electoral areas.