The City of Revelstoke is looking to amend its Animal Control Bylaw to include special rules for aggressive and dangerous dogs.
The amendments set out definitions for what are considered aggressive or dangerous dogs, and sets out rules for how their owners must handle them.
“The city’s bylaw has not been effective in dealing with aggressive and dangerous dogs in the past,” states a staff report by Teresa Lerose, the city’s manager of legislative services. “This will fill the gaps between a dog, an aggressive dog and a dangerous dog, which will have a stepped approach in classifying dogs and provide different layers of permissions, exceptions and cost to the dog’s owner.”
The proposed amendments define an aggressive dog as one that has displayed aggressive behaviour towards a person or animal; or caused injury, attacked or bitten a person or animal.
A dangerous dog is one that has killed or seriously injured a person; or killed or seriously injured a domestic animal anywhere other than the dog owner’s property,
Under the proposed amendments, the owner of an aggressive dog must keep it on a leash of no more than one metre in length when not on their own property; must ensure that it is never let loose, and must keep it muzzled in any public place or off-leash area.
After a year, the owner of an aggressive dog can apply to have the restrictions removed if there’s been no further issues.
Dangerous dogs would be subject to even more stringent regulations. In addition to being muzzled and kept on a short leash, they must be kept in a locked enclosure while at home, and aren’t allowed in any park, school ground, swimming area, beach, off-leash areas, and other public spaces.
As well, the owner must post a warning outside their house that a dangerous dog lives there and they must implant the dog with a microchip.
The bylaw doesn’t target any specific types of dogs like ones elsewhere that have banned pit bulls. The bylaw compliance officer will determine if a dog is dangerous or aggressive.
Council is set to discuss the proposed amendments at its meeting on Tuesday, June 27.