MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — The county’s dog control bylaw provides for good enforcement and public accountability, says reeve Angela Aalbers.
Her comments come following an horrific dog attack that on June 5 resulted in the death of an 86-year-old Calgary woman in her backyard garden.
Police say the three dogs involved belong to the woman’s neighbour and are reported to be a North American pit bull terrier mix, a North American Staffordshire mix, and an American pit bull.
Reeve Aalbers says the county’s dog control bylaw was in June 2020 reviewed and updated by council.
“Our bylaw clearly defines what’s expected of those keeping dogs, as well as penalties that may result if the owner is not in compliance,” said Aalbers.
“We believe that the dog control bylaw is adequate to meet the needs of county residents. As with any county bylaw, regular reviews are done through our policy review committee and recommendations will be made to council if new information is received that may warrant updates to the bylaw.”
The county’s dog control bylaw states, in part, that “No person who is the owner or keeper of any dog shall allow such dog to bite a person or persons whether on the property of the owner or not, unless the person bitten is an unauthorized person on the property of the owner” and “do any other act that causes injury to a person or persons whether on the property of the owner or not, unless the person injured is an unauthorized person on the property of the owner.”
It prohibits dogs from chasing or “otherwise threaten a person or persons whether on the property of the owner or not, unless the person chased or threatened is an unauthorized person on the property of the owner.”
The bylaw also includes a section on vicious dogs, which are described as canines that have shown a “propensity, disposition or potential to attack or injure persons or animals” and has “threatened or created the reasonable apprehension of a threat to any person or animal” or has “injured, bitten or attacked persons or other animals.”
Penalties under the bylaw include $1,500 fines for the owner of a vicious dog that bites or injures a person.
Didsbury’s dog control bylaw makes it an offence to allow a dog to “chase a person, animal, bicycle or motor vehicle, bite any person or animals, and attack or injure any person or animal.”
Curt Engel, Didsbury’s deputy mayor, said, “No bylaw is perfect and council has to balance a number of competing interests any time a bylaw is being considered, but we do our best to establish legislative measures that we hope responsible pet owners will abide by.”
All other municipalities in the district also have dog control bylaws in place.