Council Approves Responsible Pet Bylaw And Consider New Off-Leash Area

More education and awareness are needed to ensure pet owners are being responsible.

On Tuesday, Wood Buffalo council heard from administration and delegates regarding the implications of the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.

The bylaw will change the number of pets in a household from four animals to four licensed animals – and covers both cats and dogs.

One of the amendments made will see the number of dogs people can walk at one time from three to four.

Mayor Don Scott tells Mix News they will review this section of the bylaw in 90 days to see if it needs to be tweaked.

“There were concerns brought up that if you have three or four large dogs, should the rules be the same as three or four small animals. So, we will have a review of those numbers.”

Councillor Meagher’s concerns lied in animal sizes – arguing the four-dog limit would be distinctly different depending on whether the dogs are big or small.

Councillor Bruce Inglis also proposed an amendment which will see fines decrease from $250 to $50 for owners whose animals do not have issued licenses.

Scott adds in addition to all of this – the municipality may also investigate the possibility of adding a new dog park to the region.

The RMWB’s Deanne Bergey speaks to council regarding Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw. Photo by: Brandon Piper//Harvard Broadcasting

“It became very apparent that there is a need. We want people to have as much access to dog parks as they can, and I think that’s one positive thing. The CAO stepped right up and said we have to look at that.”

Several other concerns were brought forth by delegates – including what classifies as a professional pet sitter and how it differentiates from average pet owners.

Scott says one of the issues they heard on this matter – was regarding the lack of maintenance of off-leash areas.

“A lot of people talked about that issue, especially in the dog parks about how they are going and cleaning up after people. If you have an animal and you take it to a dog park or anywhere else – you must clean up after that animal and now there are sanctions in place for that.”

Council also discussed more signage in public areas, as well as fines for not picking up after your pet and other violations.

Wood Buffalo Council meets again next Tuesday, in the council chambers.

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