January 12, 2015 - 7:27 PM
KAMLOOPS - The City of Kamloops will not be joining the ranks of the 14 municipalities and two regional districts that have alread put restrictions on tethering dogs outdoors.
The B.C. SPCA has been lobbying councils across the province to adopt bylaws that help promote animal well-being and human responsibility. In late 2013 the Regional District of Central Okanagan joined several Lower Mainland communities in adopting restrictions around tethering and this week Kamloops resident Claudine Sleik asked city council to also consider this type of restriction.
During the discussion over whether restrictions were needed council was told there have not been many complaints about tethering on private property in Kamloops. Though Councillors Denis Walsh, Deiter Dudy and Donovan Cavers wanted staff to look at the options available for an anti-tethering bylaw the rest of council voted against the idea and the motion was cast aside.
While the SPCA says it is okay with monitored time on a tether there is concern for dogs being attacked by other dogs or wolves and being unable to escape. Dogs can also become tangled and choke to death when tethered.
It says tethering can be done for a number of reasons, from passive cruelty to neglect and ignorance. Not properly socializing dogs and leaving them tied up alone for extended periods can lead them to become neurotic, depressed or aggressive.
In 2007 the SPCA reviewed animal bylaws in 43 B.C. municipalities and found many to be inadequate in creating safe, humane communities. Work began on drafting a set of model bylaws and in 2012 another review and update of bylaws began. Kamloops Community Safety Manager Jon Wilson said these bylaws are geared for the SPCA specifically, and not a municipality. If the city ever does decide to look at a possible bylaw there will need to be a balance between what the SPCA would like to see and what is realistic as a city bylaw department for enforcement.
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— This story was updated at 11:52 a.m., Jan. 14, 2015 with details from the council meeting.
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