After much debate over the past few council meetings, the town of Bonnyville has decided not to change the maximum number of cats and dogs a resident can own.
For now, those living in town will be permitted a maximum of two dogs and two cats. There was much discussion of raising the limit to a max of three of one and two of the other either way, but council was divided on the issue and eventually decided to keep things as is.
Councillor Jim Cheverie was a particularly strong proponent of leaving the rule unchanged. “I walk the trail pretty frequently, and persons with three dogs and only two arms, that creates a lot of difficulty with that third dog…I can see two dogs and two cats. If they’re using my backyard than two cats is enough for sure, so I agree with two and two. That’s the way it was and it didn’t cause a lot of hardship, that’s the way it should continue.”
The town has also introduced a new 100-dollar licensing fee for dogs that are deemed “restricted”. That basically means a dog that’s particularly annoying or potentially dangerous, such as constant barking, chasing passers by or even biting. Fines for having more cats or dogs than you’re allowed will be 50 dollars for the first offence, 75 for the second, and 150 for each one after that over the course of a calendar year. However, Councillor Renee Van Brabant noted that Peace Officers operate mostly on a complaints basis and most people would likely never know if a responsible pet owner had more.
That doesn’t mean there would be no headaches at all though. Having three or more of one pet would mean you can only register two of them with the town. If an unregistered cat or dog runs away and is picked up by police, the town will have no way of knowing it’s yours.