Higher animal fines coming in 2020

Amounts could reach $1,000

Higher animal fines coming in 2020

Higher fines for contravening the District of Houston’s animal control bylaw are to come in force as of Jan. 1, 2020.

Two offences, obstructing an enforcement officer and attempting to rescue or release an impounded dog, will command fines of $1,000, the highest dollar value of an updated fine list now released by the District.

Although the District adopted its most current animal control bylaw back in February of this year, the higher fines could not be enforced until the District amended its municipal ticketing information bylaw to take in those higher amounts.

The District of Houston council has now done that through giving three readings to the ticketing amendment bylaw at it Dec. 3, 2019 council meeting.

“Updating these fine amounts is critical for the new bylaw penalties to be enforceable,” District staffer Holly Brown wrote in a briefing note to council.

“The Community Charter allows municipalities to charge up to $1,0000 for individual fine amounts that can be argued as being reasonable.”

“This draft has placed higher fine amounts on offences that are dangerous to human or animal health and safety, damage to property, or interfere with the duties of the bylaw enforcement officer,” Brown continued.

Damage or destruction of property, injury of a person or animal, failure to prevent aggressive pursuit or person or animal and failure to license an aggressive or dangersous dog will all result in fines of $500.

Excessive barking by a dog will result in a $200 fine as will having livestock at large.

And failure to remove excrement will result in a fine of $100.