The County of Grande Prairie’s Animal Control Bylaw was given a facelift Monday, as the 20-year-old bylaw was in desperate need of being updated.
Much of it focuses on dogs, and they are now taking the pressure off the animals and putting it directly on their owners.
“There are rescues and care agencies that are trying to help Pitbulls and Rottweilers, which have got a bad reputation. When there is an issue, they do cause a lot of damage, but a small Chihuahua can bite [too],” said Stuart Rempel, Manager of Enforcement Services with the County. “The majority of the dog attacks we see are with the smaller animals.”
Additional changes include: increasing the number of dogs allowed in a home 10 acres or smaller from two to four, banning dogs from recreational playing fields and school playgrounds, strengthening rules regarding dogs in vehicles and increasing fines from a minimum of $50 to a minimum of $100.
“It’s a $388 ticket for going through a stop sign, we got to bring them more in line [with other fines] to get people’s attention,” Rempel added.
“You can’t legislate requiring people to take dog training. You can’t legislate people to take care of their animals. You can legislate consequences if they don’t, and that’s the challenge.”
The hope is that surrounding communities adopt the new framework.
“Every dog is a dog now,” said Rempel.