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Animal Control Bylaw Debate Rages On

Bonnyville town council is debating some changes to the Animal Control Bylaw.

Right now policy dictates you can have a maximum of four pets with a max of two dogs and two cats each on your property. This is mostly driven by complaints though, so if you aren’t getting your neighbours too ticked off, you likely will fly under the radar.

However, the issue comes with registering pets with the town. A lot of owners with more than the allowed amount will simply not register the extra ones. If an unregistered cat or dog runs from home and the town picks it up, they’ll have no record of its owner.

The new proposed bylaw would allow a maximum of five pets with any combination of cats and dogs. However, while council was ok with the five pet max, they weren’t comfortable at all with five of one type. ” “I definitely would not want five dogs living next to me,” said Councillor Lorna Storoschuk. It seemed a maximum of five with some combination of the two required was mostly favoured. The debate was mostly with the details of that.

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Mayor Gene Sobolewski was more in favour of a case by case basis than a strict maximum. “Instead of hard and fast, here’s the line, don’t cross. If the owner is responsible, the yard is clean, there’s no complaints… that’s a responsible owner, why wouldn’t they be allowed to do what they like? I think it comes down to, not a rule or regulation that ‘thou shalt not have a maximum amount’, it should be determined by them being responsible owners.”

Councillor Jim Cheverie wanted to see Bylaw Officers making more regular patrols instead of just acting on complaints, but was told resources are too limited for the town to do that. Officers do a small number of patrols focusing on a specific violation a few times a year as it is.

Council directed administration to come up with some more alternative policies for the next meeting.

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