January 28, 2015 - 2:27 PM
VERNON - The Vernon SPCA wants local governing bodies to look at ways of improving animal welfare through the use of bylaws and fines.
Branch manager Chelsea Taylor came before Vernon council Monday, Jan. 26, to highlight some of the things the city, and the North Okanagan Regional District, could do for animals in the community.
“We’d like to review existing bylaws and consider additional bylaws to increase standards of animal welfare,” Taylor said.
One option to consider, Taylor said, would be initiating a bylaw that carries a fine for people who leave dogs in hot cars.
“We attend numerous calls every week about people that have gone grocery shopping and left their dog in a vehicle, and we’re not paid to do that,” Taylor said. “We’re a non profit organization, our best interest is we’re just looking out for the animal. If we had a bylaw where there was a penalty for something like that, we would greatly reduce the number of calls we are getting.”
Another possibility Taylor suggested was implementing a cat licensing bylaw, something other communities such as Calgary have done. How much the fee cost, whether it would be annual or fixed, and how the money would be used would be up to council to decide, Taylor said.
“Sometimes it goes to the shelter for stray stray cats, much like the dog licensing goes to dog control, but there’s other areas it could go to as well,” Taylor said.
Council pointed out any bylaw would have to be implemented in conjunction with the regional district. The idea of a cat licensing bylaw raised concern for at least one councillor who felt the added cost could be tough on some residents with companion cats.
“I have concerns about seniors, with their cats that never go out of the house. To me an added cost to seniors is a problem,” Cunningham said. “We’ll have to weigh it all out.”
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