Municipality of Rhineland Council has updated its animal control by-law in hopes of encouraging more responsible pet ownership, particularly when it comes to dogs.
"If you've been following on Facebook and our postings there, there are quite a few dogs that are found or are lost," explained Reeve Don Wiebe. "They call an animal control officer, and they get involved. Some dogs get home and others, it's very difficult. As soon as a dog is picked up of course, they get impounded and there's a fee for that and that fee has to be paid by the owner. So, we looked at that situation and tried to address that."
That means Council has made it free to license your pet with the Municipality, if the pet is all caught up on its necessary vaccinations.
"Then, if your pet is lost, you can get it back very quickly because there's an identification code and you don't have to worry about not getting your dog back or often, paying an impoundment fee. So, it's quick and easy to get your dog back," said Wiebe.
The revised by-law also includes updated procedures on dealing with dogs that have been deemed dangerous.
"Ultimately, if a dog cannot be rehabilitated, there's a process where it has to be put away or put down," noted Wiebe. "That's always a very, very last resort but we outline the process for that, so people understand how serious it is."
To Wiebe's memory, there haven't been more than one or two instances in the Municipality concerning dangerous dogs. Still, he says dog owners need to be careful how their pets respond to people on sidewalk, roadways or on bikes. "Owning a dog has some responsibilities," he said.
Wiebe stressed; the dangerous dog portion of the updated by-law does NOT specify any particular breed.