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Town updates dog control bylaw

CARSTAIRS -- Council made changes to the town's dog control bylaw and the hobby kennel and commercial/breeding kennel bylaw at its regular meeting on Feb. 25.

CARSTAIRS -- Council made changes to the town's dog control bylaw and the hobby kennel and commercial/breeding kennel bylaw at its regular meeting on Feb. 25.

The dog control bylaw regulates and controls dogs within town limits, while the hobby kennel and commercial/breeding kennel bylaw regulates licensing of breeders and the establishment of fines for violations within the town's borders.

"Both those were updated," said CAO Carl McDonnell. "Most of it was just updating certain words, like with barking and howling (already in the bylaw), they added (the word) 'incessantly.' We've had to change the definition of control. It used to be if dogs were well-trained and you whistled and the dog came back that meant they were under control.

"We've had to change the definition so even if you have a very well-trained dog, if it's off the leash then it is in violation of the bylaw."

McDonnell said the bylaw officers will have some discretion on how to enforce the bylaw.

One of the changes to the hobby kennel bylaw is to the definition of a commercial breeder.

"Anyone with more than a couple of dogs, if they're breeding they go under different rules. They now have to advertise and circulate to the neighbours to see if there is any opposition. Anyone within 60 metres of the property can put in a complaint."

Meanwhile, council updated the fire pump notification policy to recognize the importance of notifying the Anthony Henday Water Treatment Plant west of Innisfail in the event of a major fire and the need to keep the plant informed of the fire until it is extinguished.

"If the fire department has a fire or they're practising and they need the fire pump on, public works has to be notified," he said. "Then public works has to notify the water treatment plant that the fire pump is on because they're going to see a drop in the water in the reservoir so they know it's not a water break."

Council discussed in-camera the possibility of trying to attract a new doctor to town.

"We've been approached by one of the doctors' offices here in town," he said. "Two of the doctors left and they've got one doctor there right now. They're trying to get more doctors, but Alberta Health says we're already over serviced with doctors. They said, 'well, there are only three doctors left in Carstairs and one is a pediatrician and one is a skin specialist. So there's only one general practitioner.'"

McDonnell said the clinic wants more doctors in town so that patients don't have to drive out of town.

"We discussed it and council will send a letter of support when they (the clinic) are applying for doctors to come in to Carstairs," he said.