January 26, 2015 - 10:46 AM
KAMLOOPS - Earlier this month city council dismissed the idea of pursuing an anti-tethering bylaw for the city because they had not heard many complaints. Now a local dog rescue is hoping a petition with 1,500 signatures will be enough for city council to sit up and take notice.
In a letter to council at the end of December city resident Claudine Sleik asked for an anti-tethering bylaw to be enacted to help protect dogs from being tethered outdoors for extended periods of time.
At a meeting earlier this month several city councillors approached the idea tentatively, noting they had not heard complaints from the public and Enforcement Manager Jon Wilson confirmed the bylaws department receives few complaints as well.
Councillors Dieter Dudy, Denis Walsh and Donovan Cavers each were in favour of looking into the idea with Walsh noting it would be an improvement to animal rights. Other councillors felt there was not enough need for an anti-tethering bylaw in Kamloops right now and were concerned whether it would be yet another dog bylaw that would take up too much city resources at the cost of taxpayers.
Just over a week after the Jan. 13 decision to dismiss the idea, Pommy Country Pomeranian Rescue, a North Thompson dog rescue, began an online petition to ask council to put a bylaw in place that would limit the amount of time a dog can be tied up outside.
The rescue notes dogs are social creatures and keeping them chained up is a form of animal cruelty. They cannot run from dangers, they are less likely to be able to seek shelter and they can choke themselves to death if they get tangled.
Four days in, the petition has already garnered 1,450 signatures, just shy of the goal of 1,500. While some of the signatures are from the Kamloops region, many are from around the world and almost all express disgust for people who choose to chain their dogs up or sadness for the dogs that must live in those conditions.
So far 14 municipalities and two regional districts have adopted some sort of anti-tethering bylaw. The B.C. SPCA does have bylaws outlined on its website but Wilson says those are drafted specifically as SPCA bylaws and would need to be balanced with the needs of a municipality bylaw if council did wish to look at creating a local bylaw on tethering.
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