Kamloops teen gets City approval to keep support dog | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Kamloops teen gets City approval to keep support dog

Hailey Fiddes, 16, successfully appealed a Kamloops bylaw that restricts how many dogs are allowed at a home.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Laura Fiddes

City councillors enthusiastically approved a Kamloops teen's application to keep her support pet, despite bylaws limiting dogs.

Hailey Fiddes has a 13-week-old German shepherd pup, Tiny, which she found to be the first thing to effectively alleviate her anxiety.

The City of Kamloops limits pet dogs to two per household and her family already got approval for a third in December.

"This is not a pet request," Fiddes told council on May 31. "This is another tool for me and my fight against anxiety."

READ MORE: Kamloops teen appealing to city council to let her keep support puppy

She also hoped council would appreciate that she sought permission to keep the dog rather than asking for forgiveness if caught later with a fourth dog at the home. Fiddes added that she plans to register Tiny as a service dog.

Since speaking with iNFOnews.ca last week, Fiddes said she got messages from people who struggle with anxiety and who supported her efforts to keep Tiny has a support animal.

"The only roadblock I face is your approval," she told council.

The 16-year-old had sent a letter along with her application, but City staff recommended council deny her request because the Fiddes family already had three dogs, which is one more than bylaws currently allow for. Despite the recommendation, councillors were quick to praise her and allowed for her to keep the dog.

"This dog is health to you and the fact that you're going to go through the process of making it a support dog is so important," councillor Dale Bass said.

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Bass was one of several to speak in support of Fiddes, with council eventually voting unanimously to allow her to keep the dog.

"The process is working the way it's supposed to today," councillor Mike O'Reilly said, acknowledging City staff recommended to deny Fiddes from keeping Tiny, as the bylaw is written, but the matter rightfully went to City council to review it.

She likely would not have needed to appeal to the City to keep Tiny in the first place, however, if the dog was already trained and registered as a support animal. City staff explained the bylaw only applies to pets and service animals are exempt.

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Fiddes explained she will have to wait until Tiny is six months old before she can get the dog trained as a service animal. At that point, she can then have it registered. She's hoping to begin training Tiny near the end of this summer, which could take about a year to complete.

In this case, she took Tiny under her care within five days of the dog's birth. She works for the German shepherd breeder where Tiny was born, but the breeder did not expect Tiny, the runt of the litter, to survive. So Fiddes nursed the dog until it was healthy, and now it can keep up with the big dogs, she said.

She still brings Tiny to the breeder's property where it can be with other German shepherds, including Tiny's parents and siblings, but it comes home with her and accompanies her everywhere else.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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