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Cold Lake council sees changes to Animal Care and Control bylaw

Residents in Cold Lake will no longer be required to pay the 2023 licensing fee.

Cold Lake City Council gave third and final reading to a newly-updated Animal Care and Control bylaw that gives dog and cat owners to receive their 2023 license for no charge. Council has also approved waiving all licensing fees for the remainder of 2022.

Some more changes to the bylaw include:

Animal Care and Control Centre

The newly-constructed animal intake control facility has been designated as the Animal Care and Control Centre (ACCC). The building will serve as a temporary intake and holding facility where animals can be impounded for a limited period of time.

Under the updated regulations, an officer may seize an animal that is running at large or found to be in contravention of the bylaw and impound that animal at the ACCC. Any animal without ID will be held for up to 3 days and animals with ID will be held for up to 10 days.

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Mayor of Cold Lake Craig Copeland says the purpose of this new facility is not to be an animal shelter, but just a temporary stop before the animal is either reunited with its owner or transferred to a proper shelter where it can be adopted out.

To claim a pet owners will need to provide a valid animal license or purchase an annual license and pay a $50 animal intake fee and a $20/daycare fee. The cost could be increased if any animal is found sick or in distress.

Vicious Animal Designation

The owner of a designated “vicious animal” must, along with all requirements of the previous Animal Care and Control bylaw:

  • Post “Beware of Dog” signs at all entrances to their property,
  • Ensure the dog does not chase, pursue, injure or bite a person or other animal,
  • Prevent the dog from running at large at all times,
  • Notify the City immediately if they become aware that the dog is running at large.

A vicious animal is identified by enforcement officers as any animal with the potential to chase, attack, bite or injure people or other animals without provocation.

Owners of designated vicious animals must, among other conditions, obtain a vicious animal license and provide third-party liability coverage of at least $500,000 for any injuries caused by the animal.

Enforcement of bylaw

Enforcement officers can now issue provincial violation tickets to animal owners which will need a payment of a fine or an appearance in provincial court.

“Owning an animal comes with significant responsibility and it’s important that people and pets are able to live in safety and harmony in Cold Lake,” said Copeland. “Animals roaming free and dogs barking at all hours of the day and night really becomes a nuisance and takes a significant toll on the quality of life of our residents. We think this updated bylaw will give our City staff the tools to better regulate pet ownership in the city and enforce the rules when they need to.”

Tickets can be issued at the discretion of the officer when an animal has caused public nuisance as a result of excessive noise or being at large on three or more occasions within one calendar year. In extreme cases, the enforcement officer may request that the court issue a destruction order for the animal.

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