Letters to the Editor

Letter: Beleaguered by ridiculous dog bylaw

To the editor:

In reply to the Regional District of the Central Okanagan’s reply about the new dog bylaw on its website’s Whats New page http://www.regionaldistrict.com/whats-new.aspx.

1. A retractable leash length of six feet is still unacceptable to me because my dog needs exercise. He wants to chase wildlife, and he jumps and climbs fences so a fence won’t work, plus I use a long 15-foot training leash. Anyone can get tangled in any length of leash.

2. RDCO has been known to enforce their dog bylaw without a warrant according to The Not So Dangerous Dogs of British Columbia facebook page and people I have talked to. RDCO also let the guy in my subdivision keep his nine dogs when he doesn’t qualify for a kennel permit.

3. RDCO said you still need to pay RDCO’s legal costs if you win a dangerous dog case.

4. You are still required to report bylaw infractions and unlicensed dogs, even if you are not fined.

5. You are still required to advise RDCO if your dog has died or been transferred to a new owner, even if RDCO cannot fine you.

6. RDCO said your dog cannot be deemed aggressive or dangerous because someone says your dog causes them emotional trauma. We all know how RDCO investigates. For instance in the case of Shadow, the verdict was the lady’s own dog bit her and Shadow was not euthanized. Most people don’t have $50,000 to take a dangerous dog case to court, so one single dog control officer can deem your dog dangerous, and then you have to submit to RDCO to have your dog euthanized if you don’t have the money. I believe that three behaviour assessments should be done.

7. In regards to the definition of aggression, what does “attempted to attack” really mean? Does it mean the dog barked and lunged on leash? I want to see a badly needed policy for dog control officers.

8. There is no reason why every dog has to be deemed aggressive or dangerous for life. Dogs can be rehabilitated with training. In the case of Tali, a conditional order was drawn up and Tali went to training. Tali is no longer required to wear a muzzle. Also I don’t see why an aggressive dog is required to be in an enclosure when outside if it has a muzzle on.

Additions:

A. RDCO has stated that the RCMP can attend to barking dogs at night when RDCO is not working. The Armstrong RCMP who work the North Westside Road area, told me that they can’t ticket anyone, because RDCO can’t or won’t enforce the ticket. (Sgt. Rob Daly of the Armstrong RCMP, 250-546-3028).

B. And did you know that RDCO has to canvass your neighbourhood to be able to ticket a barking dog, because you alone are not believable by the adjudicator?

C. How can you stay anonymous going to court? RDCO is causing neighbour relation problems telling you that you have to see the dog barking so that you can identify the dog and can take the dog owner to court. The RCMP tell me…I am not to go out for a walk on the road to try and see which dog is barking behind trees or in the dark.

I believe the RDCO should be catching barking dogs and taking dog owners to court instead of you and all your neighbours. RDCO also needs to stop telling people to take photos of barking dogs.

Sharon Schnurr,

Kelowna

 

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