3 dogs, no more!

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County has put a leash on the number of dogs people can own on a property.
At its regular meeting Jan. 25, council gave third and final reading to amend the animal control bylaw that restricts people to three dogs on a single property in all land-use districts except agricultural.
“Agricultural land is exempt because you can use dogs for farming operations,” said Brett Hawken, director of community and protective services.
He noted council will be reactive rather than proactive in the new restriction.
“We’re not going to be driving around and looking to see if people have more than three dogs on their property.”
The restriction is enforced by staff responding to reports by citizens.
“It allows the animal-control officer to assess each situation to try to come to come to a solution with both the complainant and the owner of the dogs before the removal of dogs,” Hawken noted.
“If no solution can be met and infractions still occur, then enforcement will commence.”
Administration received a request last fall from North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Jim Zabolotniuk concerned about dogs barking late at night. Zabolotniuk also recommended the number of dogs on one property be limited.
“After analysis of the bylaw, administration initiated an amendment to the bylaw in response to ongoing incidents of nuisance barking and dogs running at large in populated areas, preventing the enjoyment of neighbouring residents,” Hawken said.
Council gave first reading to the amended bylaw at its regular meeting Nov. 10. At that time, a suggestion was made to exclude properties of more than 10 acres in size for the proposed bylaw amendment.
However, administration does not feel the exception would solve the problem of nuisance barking and dogs running at large, Hawken said.
As a result, it was not added to the bylaw for second and third reading, he noted.
The change in the bylaw will work in connection to the review of the land-use bylaw that will include refining regulations on dog kennels, boarding operations and breeding operations.
The proposed amendments to the LUB would be presented to council at a later date.

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