Lloydminster residents will have to wait for at least another month for city council to vote on an updated version of the city’s 28-year-old domestic animal bylaw.
At its July 27 meeting, council passed a motion to send the proposed bylaw back to administration for further review. The point of contention is the new fee for licensing intact cats and dogs, which would be increased from $30 to $150, a number council found to be too prohibitive.
“It’s a bylaw that affects a lot of people and we had discussion and debate and in the end there was one item that we wanted administration to take back and take another look at. So that’s the prerogative of council and we want to get it right and do what’s best,” Coun. Larry Sauer said.
City administration arrived at the $150 fee following a two-month consultation period in which staff spoke with groups, including the Lloydminster SPCA, animal rescue and foster home Fur Babies Forever and a local veterinarian as well as the general public. Administration also took into account licensing fees in other municipalities before settling on a number it considered appropriate.
“We were communicating the changes in the bylaw through social media, our website and in newspaper articles and we met with specific user groups within the city and talked about he bylaw,” community services director Don Stang said. “We felt we had everything looked after and we’ve answered all their questions and we have good support of our bylaw from user groups within the city.”
Other changes to the proposed bylaw include slightly-altered wording, like replacing the word “destroy” with “euthanize,” and increasing the maximum allowed number of pets per household from three to five. But the biggest issue was the increased fee, which city Coun. Ken Baker calls “a pretty high-priced ticket.”
“I think that families deserve to have pets, and if they want to have intact animals they should be able to have them if they look after them properly,” Baker said. “I just think that because the odd community charges extreme fees, we don’t have to follow suit.”
Baker was the only councillor to vote against the motion to send the legislation back to administration. He wanted to amend the bylaw in council and change the licensing fee to $50.
“I think administration’s done their job. It’s up to council just to make a decision,” he said.