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higher fines for vicious dogs Vancouver

tybrax
July 9th, 2005, 07:41 AM
WESTCOAST NEWS
Higher fines proposed for vicious dogs
Glenn Bohn
Vancouver Sun

July 7, 2005

VANCOUVER - Higher fines for vicious dogs, barking dogs and dogs with a
taste for garbage are being proposed in Vancouver for the animal that is not
always man's best friend.

City staff-recommended changes to existing bylaws include a $500 minimum
fine for failing to muzzle a vicious dog and a $500 minimum fine for failing
to keep a vicious dog securely confined.

The existing bylaw now makes owners pay at least $200 for those offences. In
the neighbouring city of Burnaby, the fine for failing to muzzle is just
$25.

No longer would specific breeds of dogs be mentioned in Vancouver's Animal
Control Bylaw.

Instead, it would define a vicious dog as "a dog with a history or known
propensity for very aggressive behaviour toward people or other domestic
animals."

City policy analyst Alena Straka, whose recommendations go to a council
committee July 14, notes in her report that many speakers at a meeting last
February were opposed to laws that designated certain breeds as dangerous.

"It was felt that most dogs could be kind and loyal pets if raised in a
caring and loving home environment," Straka wrote. "Singling out pit bull
breeds under the existing 'vicious dog' definition is regarded as unfair,
discriminatory and unnecessary."

But if those pooches aren't raised in a loving home, the city wants to get
tougher. If the B.C. government agrees to a city request to amend the
Vancouver Charter, the city would require microchips to be surgically
implanted under the skin of city-declared vicious dogs.

If a vicious dog became a repeat offender, the city's animal control
officers could electronically identify the dog, confirm they were dealing
with the same problem animal, and impose stiffer fines. Veterinarians, who
typically place a microchip under the skin of the dog's neck, charge about
$50 for the procedure. An owner of a vicious dog would have to pay the bill.

Mark Takhar, the Vancouver manager of the Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals, said the SPCA would like microchips implanted in all
dogs, so lost and stray dogs can also be identified.

Takhar said a vicious dog would likely have to be captured and contained in
order for someone to aim a hand-held scanner at a microchip on the dog's
neck, but some animal shelters in Australia are already using metal
detectors and scanners similar to the ones that airline passengers walk
through at airports.

The city of Vancouver report suggested retinal imaging technology could also
be used -- taking a photograph of the unique retina of a dog's eye.

gbohn@png.canwest.com

- - -

DOG OWNERS TAKE NOTE

New $250 fines for owners of dogs that...

- Upset or break into garbage containers.

- Ride unsecured in an open truck bed.

- Bark or howl.

- Are not confined or isolated when it has a communicable disease.

- Are not left in a car with the windows up and inadequate ventilation, and
other such confined areas.

Fines raised to the $500 minimum level for owners who...

- Fail to muzzle a vicious dog.

- Fail to keep a vicious dog securely confined.

SNAPSHOT OF DOG LIFE IN THE CITY

Number of dogs in Vancouver: about 50,000

Chance a dog will go missing in a year (3,500 cases): 1 in 14

Chance a dog will bite a person in a year (181 reports): 1 in 276

Source: City of Vancouver; Vancouver Sun
© The Vancouver Sun 2005
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Tybrax

Akeeter
July 10th, 2005, 02:53 PM
Oh yeah..I forgot that people are the Only important creatures, and dogs get to be 'dangerous' all by themselves with no human input.

At least somebody thought about fining people for putting dogs into pickup truck boxes. That makes me NUTZ!! One good bump in the road or a minor collision & the dog is airborne! (It's surprising the number of people who put their human friends into the box of a pickup truck. Same story =Very Dangerous!)

twodogsandacat
July 10th, 2005, 03:39 PM
I prefer this 100% over breed specific laws. If your dog is dangerous it didn't get that way all by it's self. Once that determination has been made then you have a responsibility and a $25 fine for failing to live up to that is nothing.

In Ontario we have banned breeds and doubled fines. Fines where the maximum is hardly handed out and fines that only come after an event. We have also just sent the message to irresponsible owners of every breed other than pits that as long as you donít own a pit your dogs arenít 'an issue'. The Ontario government has decided that if they ban pits and double those fines they donít have to do anything else. Letís wait and see how that lack of understanding of the issues plays out.

Calgary has such good stats because they have higher fines and they ENFORCE their bylaws. If Vancouver is willing to back those fines up then this is far more preferable than BSL.. Good luck to them.

MIA
July 21st, 2005, 03:29 PM
Calgary has such good stats because they have higher fines and they ENFORCE their bylaws. If Vancouver is willing to back those fines up then this is far more preferable than BSL.. Good luck to them.

I am from Calgary and yes they mean business there! I now live in Vancouver(Richmond) and I can honestly say I have NEVER seen a bylaw officer while living here (9 years)!!!! We did have a muzzle type law before that was rarely enforced.... I do hope they beef up thier bylaw officers and actually are active in the community as they are in Calgary.

In Richmond where I live, we have muzzle laws but again they aren't enforced, not that I agree with them but I am tired of seeing the nasty pit at the dog park un-muzzled!!!!!

twodogsandacat
July 22nd, 2005, 06:40 AM
In Richmond where I live, we have muzzle laws but again they aren't enforced, not that I agree with them but I am tired of seeing the nasty pit at the dog park un-muzzled!!!!!

VERY carefully I say: The nasty pit shouldn't be at the dog park and neither should any other nasty dog. There are differing opinions as to whether the nice pitty should be at the dog park.

MIA
July 22nd, 2005, 09:52 AM
I agree NO nasty dog should be at the dog park... As a former pit owner I rarely took my non-dog aggressive pit to the dog park and when I did he was muzzled, for HIS safety!!! If a fight were to break out, regardless of who started it, my dog would have been blamed.... I am a huge pit advocate but there is some common sense involved.