April 16, 2013 - 10:16 AM
A top-five priority for the Thompson Nicola Regional District in 2013—better control over dangerous dogs—could finally happen if a bylaw before the board of directors is approved this week.
The bylaw will specifically cover how the service will be regulated and enforced. Adhering to the guidelines in the Community Charter, dogs will only be considered dangerous if they have killed or seriously injured a person or domestic animal or if an animal control officer has reasonable grounds to believe the dog is likely to kill or seriously injure a person.
The 11 municipalities and 10 electoral areas gathered feedback from local constituents and four areas - Blue Sky Country, electoral areas M and N (Nicola Valley regions) and Rivers and the Peaks - have decided to take advantage of the service.
The board has already approved providing the service by contract and if the bylaw is approved, a request for proposal will be issued this fall and a policy will be drafted for a November 2013 meeting of the review committee.
The policy will address the fact the bylaw does not provide regulation or control of unlicensed dogs, dogs at large or aggressive dogs due to limited resources to enforce the dangerous dog bylaw.
A budget of $50,000 is being set for the first year with a potential to go up to $100,000 if needed. TNRD does not have any statistics for dangerous dog incidents which is why a lower amount is being budgeted for the first year.
The budget includes costs for answering calls, on-site investigations, euthanasia, court preparation and attendance and a responsible dog ownership education program. Estimated operating costs of $100,000 were based on 60 complaint calls per month, with a total of 25 requiring on-site visits over the course of the year and five cases of euthanasia.
The cost to average households in the service area will start at $5.30 per year with the potential to go up to $10.59 based on a $100,000 budget.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013