Animal bylaws need more teeth

Husband of bitten woman wants bylaw officers to have more powers

The husband of a woman bitten by a pair of vicious dogs in November is calling on the Town of Qualicum Beach to give more power to its bylaw control officer.

Appearing as a delegation at Monday night’s council meeting, Garry Young said that while he was delighted with the swift and determined action taken by the town in response to the Nov. 17 attack, there were some changes to the town’s animal control bylaw that needed improvement.

“During this whole episode, I found a lot of inadequacies in the bylaw,” Young said. “The way it is now, if the irresponsible animal owner wants to hide the animal, they have lots of time to do it.

“ I think it is very risky if we don’t have the bylaw giving the bylaw officer the authority to pick up animals immediately, conduct an investigation, make a determination of what should happen and go from there.”

Young called for an amendment to the animal control bylaw to allow the officer to pick up an animal without having to go to court, to investigate an incident and make a determination and give the owner a 30-day appeal process, should the determination conclude that the animal needs to be put down.

Young is also calling for all costs associated with the revised bylaw be paid by the animal’s owner, should it be determined a town bylaw has been broken.

“I believe any costs should be borne by the irresponsible animal owner, not the taxpayers of Qualicum Beach,” he said.

Council took note of Young’s concerns, with mayor Teunis Westbroek noting the request will be discussed at a future council meeting.



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