Last night (Tuesday), after The Tri-City News’ deadline, Port Moody council was expected to discuss a bylaw that would limit the number of dogs per household to two and establish tougher regulations to control aggressive and vicious dogs.
In a report to committee of the whole, city bylaw co-ordinator Maria Wahl noted bylaw officers have had to spend more time dealing with dog complaints because of a 56% increase in the number of dogs since 2004.
Between 2004 and 2007, the number of pooches in PoMo grew from 879 to 1,559.
“This increase is reflective of the amount of time staff are spending in more aggressively enforcing animal control regulations,” the report states.
Limiting the number of dogs in the city would provide a clear distinction between dog owners and breeders while tougher restrictions for aggressive and vicious dogs would enhance public safety, the report suggests.
The bylaw would simplify the definition of vicious dog to include any dog that either causes serious injury to a person or a domestic animal off the owner’s property, or is believed to be vicious by an animal control bylaw officer.
Two new categories of problem dogs would also be added to the bylaw: aggressive dog, which is defined as an animal that threatens, is inclined to or causes non-serious injury; and dangerous dog, which is defined under the Community Charter, and allows the city to seek a court order to have the dog destroyed.
Dogs considered aggressive or vicious would face tough identification requirements under the proposed bylaw. They would have to get a new license, be photographed and, in the case of vicious dogs, be tattooed or micro-chipped as well.
The bylaw would also require muzzles and proper leashes for aggressive and vicious dogs when they are outside of securely fenced property or locked kennels, and they would have to be under the control of a competent adult over the age of 19.
Leashes for vicious dogs wouldn’t be allowed to be any longer than 1.2 metres to keep them from chasing, injuring or biting people or other pets and both vicious and aggressive dogs would be prohibited from off-leash dog areas.
Penalties for failing to observe these rules would range from $200 to $300 and a vicious dog could be required to be put down by a bylaw officer if it is found to be running free.