Here where I live on the West Coast of British Columbia Canada, we have bylaws for many things, but this one really excites me because we need more people to pay attention and do what it says! Say no to tethering your pet!!
Here is a copy of the local newspaper this morning on dog owners who tie up the their pet for more than 4 hours!
City council is expected Tuesday night to endorse a dog-tethering bylaw amendment that would make it an offence to leave a dog confined in a yard for more than four hours in any 24-hour period.
“There has been very consistent advocacy from dog lovers and people in the community who think that dogs should be treated humanely,” said Coun. Barinder Rasode.
Rasode said she expects unanimous endorsement of the bylaw, as all Surrey councillors — a few of them dog owners, including Mayor Dianne Watts and Coun. Mary Martin — supported the initiative when it was forwarded to the UBCM at their September AGM. The resolution requested that the province amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to permit tethering enforcement.
Animal Advocates Society of B.C. president Judy Stone requested a committee-in-council delegation to broach the idea in April 2012.
At that meeting, members of the Campaign for Animal Rights Legislation told council dogs tethered for long periods can become “highly aggressive.” They said the bylaw was intended to target “dogs whose owners maintain them exclusively on chains, in kennels, or in yards; and/or obtain them for negative functions.”
But campaign member and Surrey resident Janet Olson said the group pressed for an outright ban on unattended tethering, and she is disappointed that council didn’t take their recommendation.
“It’s unenforceable,” Olson said of the time-limit ban, arguing bylaw officers would have to sit for hours to police owners.
“It doesn’t go far enough, in fact it doesn’t go anywhere.”
Olson is the founder of the now-defunct A Better Life Dog Rescue, a controversial organization accused of theft of dogs from properties where they believed the animals were being mistreated.
The B.C. SPCA’s chief prevention and enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty said the agency supported the bylaw.
“We think this is an excellent move to promote animal welfare and, at the same time, public safety,” Moriarty said.
“Dogs who spend a significant amount of time tethered with a lack of socialization and companionship can become frustrated and if they do get off their tethers or someone provokes them, they are more likely to show aggressive behaviour that could result in bites.”
She said provincial laws don’t give them the ability to intervene in most cases of tethering. Municipal bylaws enable a more proactive, preventive approach.
Moriarty clarified that the bylaw was not intended to target responsible dog owners who tie their pet on a long lead for its own safety while playing outside with family, but to owners who neglect a pet.
Last week, the B.C. SPCA released new resources to help owners of backyard dogs reintegrate them into the family home at www.bcspca.bc.ca/outdoordogs
Other animal welfare agencies are also opposed to tethering.
The Canadian Veterinarian Medical Association states “tethering of dogs as a primary method of confinement” is “not acceptable” for kennels or animal shelters.
There are 16 municipalities across the province which have some kind of dog tethering bylaw.
Richmond prohibits tethering animals for more than one hour in every six-hour period and Delta limits animal tethering to four hours per day.
In Port Hardy, Pemberton Valemont and Sechelt, dog tethering is limited to six-hours per day.
In Oliver, dogs can be tethered a maximum of six-hours straight and nine hours total per day.
In Burnaby, tethering unattended dogs is limited to one hour a day.
In Lions Bay and New Westminster, tethering unattended dogs is prohibited.
In Sooke, Qualicum Beach, Chilliwack and Dawson Creek, animals can’t be tied to a fixed object for “an extended period of time” and in Chetwynd, animals can’t be tethered on an “unoccupied property.”
The city of Surrey’s bylaw reporting and animal complaint number is 604-591-4370.
The B.C. SPCA’s animal cruelty hotline is 1-855-622-7722