Council approves pet bylaw

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August 27, 2015 8:15 AM

For the first time since 1987, the City of Lloydminster has an updated Domestic Animal Bylaw.

Starting Sept 1. Cats will be required to be licenced and fees for licencing dogs will be increased. Households are also limited to five pets in any combination of cats and dogs.

Until now, the annual licence fees for intact dogs cost $30 and spayed and neutered dogs cost $10. Those fees are now $60 and $30, respectively, for cats and dogs between the ages of six months and nine years. Licences are available at the Lloydminster and District SPCA or any veterinary clinic. Licences for service dogs are issued without cost.

Lloydminster city council approved the new bylaw at its Aug. 24 meeting. Coun. Larry Sauer says the bylaw will be “eased in,” and there will be a period for residents to make sure that they’re following the new rules. He says the city will also be educating the public about the changes to the bylaw.

The law also provides new regulations regarding the ownership of “dangerous and vicious” animals.

Vicious dogs will be defined as a dog of any age or breed which, while on or off its owner’s property, either has attacked people or animals unprovoked, poses a continuing threat of serious harm, chases people who approach it or shows the potential to attack or injure animals or humans unprovoked.

A dog will also be declared vicious if it makes two conformed unprovoked attacks within a calendar year. These dogs will be classified as “restricted,” which limits them to one per household and requires a $500 annual licencing fee. Owners of a restricted dog must maintaing at least $1 million in liability insurance coverage in order to be licenced.

Vicious dog owners will face the stiffest fines, from $2,500 for improperly confining their dog, letting it run free, or failing to muzzle, leash and keep it under immediate physical control to prevent it from harming others, to $5,000 for failing to prevent an attack on a person in the city.

The bylaw requires pets be kept under their owners’ physical control in public areas and disallows them from roaming freely beyond their property. The legislation also addresses animal care and disease control.

On May 25 the Domestic Animal Bylaw passed its first reading. It was scheduled to be read a second time on July 27, but council sent the bylaw back to administration for review after determining that the $150 fee for licencing intact dogs was too high. That fee has now been set at $60.

Administration arrived at that number by calculating the average licence fee of 14 communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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