Home produced eggs could be a breakfast of choice for Drayton Valley residents after the new Pet Bylaw was passed by council on May 1.

After a public hearing, where no complaints were voiced, CPO Cody Rossing reviewed the bylaw for council. 

“To ensure that bylaws that govern the town of Drayton Valley are current, effective, and meet the needs of the community, protective services completed a review of the existing animal control bylaw in June of 2023,” said Rossing.

Part of the review included a public survey for the community, and protective services took the feedback into consideration for the creation of the new bylaw.

The Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw regulates the ownership of pets like cats and dogs, but hens have also been added to the list of approved domestic animals. Residents will be allowed to have up to three hens in their yards, so long as they adhere to regulations about the coop.

Other changes that will come into effect include the requirement to report serious incidents or attacks, even if the victim doesn’t wish to lay charges. Owners will also be required to advise the Town of whether their dog has been deemed a dangerous animal in another municipality or province.

Another change for owners is removal of the requirement for registering pets. Instead, residents are required to have their pet tattooed or microchipped, which most already do, for ease of identification.

Rossing said that after the bylaw received first reading in March, protective services again asked for feedback from the community. The largest concern was in regards to how many dogs a household was allowed to have. He says based on the survey allowing three dogs per household had the second highest votes out of five different options.

There were 165 responses that indicated households could only responsibly have two dogs, but 77 other respondents said three. The other options, for one dog, four dogs, or five or more dogs, had 23 votes or lower.

“When we completed a jurisdictional scan of other comparable-sized municipalities as it pertains to dog limits, it’s common for either two or three dogs to be permitted,” said Rossing.

He said in the past, some members have come across homes where the owner already owned three dogs and wasn’t aware there was a limit. They’ve also received phone calls from people looking to move to Drayton who are concerned because they have three pets. Rossing said in some cases, the lower limit could be a deterrent for people to move to the community.

By removing the licensing requirement, Rossing said the Town will lose about $5,000 per year in revenue. However, there will also be savings on staff hours as no one will be required to maintain the list or chase down homeowners who haven’t registered their pets.

“As well, with the increase in fine amounts, it could offset some of the cost as well,” said Rossing.

Attached to the bylaw is a schedule that outlines the fine amounts for different infractions. These can run from first offence of $150 for failing to possess a suitable instrument to carry/remove defecation in public to $1,000 for abandoning a dog or cat. 

By Amanda Jeffery, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 09, 2024 at 10:39

This item reprinted with permission from   Free Press   Drayton Valley, Alberta

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