From January 2018 until the beginning of December, the District of Houston received 32 complaints about dogs. Over the previous 10 years, there were 11.3 complaints per year on average. (Black Press file photo)

Complaints about dogs nearly triple in Houston in 2018

Houston council now revising animal control regulations

The District of Houston is currently in the process of revising its animal control regulations after complaints about dogs nearly tripled in 2018 compared to previous years.

Between January 2018 and the beginning of December, the district received 32 complaints about dogs. Over the previous 10 years, there were 11.3 complaints per year on average.

Last year’s complaints included allegations about dogs barking, dogs at large, defecation on public property, abandoned dogs and dangerous dogs.

“Complaints received to date have highlighted significant deficiencies in the existing bylaw,” said Gerald Pinchbeck, Houston’s chief administrative officer, in a report to council last month. “The first and foremost among them is the lack of enforcement tools for aggressive dogs and dangerous dogs.”

At present, the district’s only method of regulating in relation to dogs which pursue, attack, injure or kill animals and people is to impound the animal and seek destruction of the dog through an application to the B.C. Supreme Court. However, Pinchbeck says there are no requirements for owners to confine these dangerous dogs after a designation and release, or in a situation where the dog is not able to be destroyed.

Additionally, the district has no regulations regarding dogs which are abandoned, nor dogs defecating on public property which is not a park.

“The bylaw has shown its age, and to address certain aspects of its enforcement moving forward, it will need to be updated,” added Pinchbeck.

A new bylaw – Animal Control Bylaw No. 1112, 2018 – has been drafted to update the existing regulations. Council will be considering first reading of the bylaw at the Jan. 15, 2019 regular meeting.

According to Pinchbeck, the most significant changes are to how the district would regulate in relation to aggressive and dangerous dogs moving forward.

If a dog is designated as an aggressive or dangerous dog, additional requirements would be imposed on the owner. These include requirements to confine the animal in a secure enclosure or building, to muzzle and leash the dog when not inside an enclosure, and to display warning signs. In addition, the owner must sterilize the animal, implant a microchip in the dog to allow for its location, and notify the district if the dog is at large or deceased.

The proposed bylaw includes other new provisions, including:

– An owner must ensure any dog in their possession is vaccinated against rabies;

– An owner must keep the premises where an animal is kept in a clean and tidy condition, free from the buildup of excrement and other hazardous waste;

– A person must not abandon a dog outside of a fenced enclosure or building for longer than 15 minutes, even if such dog is on a leash or tether;

– If a dog defecates on any public or private property other than the owner’s premises, the owner must remove the feces immediately;

– A person must not allow any dog in their possession to howl or bark for more than five minutes over any one-hour period from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., or three minutes over any one-hour period between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

If adopted, the new bylaw will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, allowing the district time to implement it before the next licensing year.

RELATED: Dog banned from B.C. dog park for ‘excessive’ barking, running


 

@flavio_nienow
flavionienow@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

College could offer training programs this fall

But has no plans to re-establish a physical presence

Bath day

The Houston Volunteer Fire Department, Perry Slaney and Fred Brown were out… Continue reading

Emergency service day in Houston

The second annual emergency service day was held on July 11 in… Continue reading

New CAO starts at RDBN

Curtis Helgesen started as the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the… Continue reading

Looking good Houston

The District of Houston, maintenance crew recently replaced the old banners through… Continue reading

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Most Read