Dog bylaw impounded
Councillors balk at fees, ask for review of legislation
by Ian Elliot
INUVIK (Apr 24/98) - Town council has shelved its controversial dog bylaw until it gets more information on some parts of it.
Faced with the technicalities of enforcing the much-discussed bylaw, an earlier version of which was all but abandoned by the previous council because it was so unwieldy, councillors decided on Monday to review and possibly change the document one more time before they consider passing it.
The need for some sort of dog-control bylaw was prompted by the town having to shoot 79 dogs on Horst Podzadney's property in December. Ongoing worries that a child could be injured by a dog in town continue, but the details of the bylaw are proving difficult to resolve. The town wants the registration fee to pay for administering the dog- tag system, but as with its recent ATV bylaw, does not know what the administration costs will be.
The most contentious issue is a new schedule of fees for owners and kennels in town. The draft bylaw calls for owners of spayed or neutered dogs to pay $20 to register the animals with the town, with owners of unfixed dogs paying $40. Councillors feared that would prove unworkable.
"I believe the fee schedule is too high," mused Mayor George Roach.
"I wonder if you'll get a reluctance on the part of people to pay $40 rather than $20."
Determining whether dogs are fixed would also be an issue as many people own dogs but not the papers proving the operation has been done, he noted.
"Do we have to feel these things up to determine if they're spayed or neutered?" the mayor joked.
Councillor Dan Dell, who owns one such paperless dog, noted that even the presence of the papers wouldn't mean much.
"Someone can come in with a certificate for a brown dog, but how do you know it's the same brown dog?"
In addition, a one-time $200 registration fee for owners of kennels and dog teams was thought insufficient because after that the town had no control over the team or kennel.
"I'd like to see them pay a registration fee, then $10 a year or whatever so we have some control over the condition of the animals and so on," said Councillor Vince Sharpe.
The bylaw will be reviewed and will come back when the contentious provisions are reviewed by the committee that drafted it.