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Service dogs exempt from bylaw

Service dogs in Kamloops will soon be exempt from the city’s two-dog per household bylaw.

City council gave the first three readings to a bylaw amendment that will exclude registered guide dogs from a household’s animal tally.

Community safety manager Jon Wilson told council guide dogs are subject to rigorous obedience training, noting  agencies that register them usually provide follow-up training and care.

“We don’t anticipate there’s going to be issues from barking or nuisance-type situations,” he said.

Coun. Tina Lange suggested the bylaw change should be written so that those with a guide dog already can’t buy two more dogs.

However, Coun. Nancy Bepple said guide dogs aren’t companion animals and treating them as if they are misses the point.

“A guide dog is part of how you have a life,” she said.

“Whether a person has a guide dog has nothing to do with whether they have two companion dogs.

“The dog has a job. It’s like having a wheelchair.”

Bepple’s own suggestion that the exemption also cover police dogs didn’t find much traction.

Wilson said police dogs receive “a different level of training that sometimes can go off the rails.

“And, when we’re concerned about aggressive dogs and things, I didn’t want to approach the exemption with respect to police dogs.”

 

 

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