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Hamlet takes tough stance on strays

Death sentence for dogs without tags

Lynn Lau
Northern News Services

Fort McPherson (Dec 10/01) - Loose dogs, look out. At a hamlet meeting Nov. 27, councillors approved a tough new dog bylaw that will allow the bylaw officer to get rid of strays. And quick.

Under the old regulations all captured dogs were held for 24 hours to allow the hamlet time to contact an owner. Under the new regulations, only registered dogs will get the privileged overnight stay. Loose, unregistered dogs will be put down immediately if they're captured by the bylaw officer.

"Loose dog activity has always been a concern in the community and this bylaw is just becoming more stern," says senior administrator John Smith.

Surprisingly, the hamlet did not receive any response from the community regarding the new rules.

"We posted this bylaw in the community for two weeks for public input and ideas, and we received none, so we take that as everyone's in agreement to it," Smith says.

Loose dogs that are registered will still be impounded for 24 hours to allow the owners time to claim them. "When we pick up a dog, we notify the owner and if they don't pick them up in 24 hours, then we destroy it," explains Smith.

"There's only so much we can do -- we don't have the kennel space and we just don't have the resources.

There's also no free ride for truant pups. All fines and fees have to be paid by the owner before the animal is released. Under the new bylaw, pound fees have gone up from $20 to $25 per day.

Resident dog-owner Abe Peterson says he approves of the hamlet's tough stance on stray dogs. "If they don't do that there'd be just too many dogs loose around town. A while ago, nobody did anything and there was dogs loose all over the place. Since bylaw has been doing that, it's sure nice."