BC SPCA approves of changes to the City of Duncan’s animal control bylaw. (File photo)

BC SPCA approves of Duncan’s updated animal control bylaw

Calls changes “progressive”

The BC SPCA is applauding Duncan city council for updating its animal care and control bylaw.

The SPCA said the changes are a positive step towards improving animal welfare in the area.

Under the new rules, owned cats who are allowed to go outdoors must be spayed or neutered in addition to having sufficient identification.

The Municipality of North Cowichan adopted similar rules around cats earlier this year.

RELATED STORY: OUTDOOR CATS MUST BE SPAYED OR NEUTERED UNDER PROPOSED NORTH COWICHAN BYLAW

“These kinds of community rules ensure that cats live their best lives, not having to suffer from back-to-back pregnancies or spending many days in a shelter hoping their guardians will find them,” said Amy Morris, the BC SPCA’s policy and companion animals manager.

Residents that feed cats with no owners must now register with the city and ensure the cats are part of a trap-neuter-return program, according to the new rules that were recently adopted by council.

Feeding stations can be left outside on private property for up to 45 minutes per day and stray/feral, or community cats must be provided with outdoor shelter.

Those feeding community cats must maintain a plan to care, feed, spay or neuter, tattoo and vaccinate each community cat.

The city has also expanded rules around tethering animals.

Animals can’t be tethered to a vehicle and cannot be left unattended on public property.

The city’s 2015 animal care and control bylaw did not allow animals to be tied up while wearing choke collars, and now animals are not allowed to be tethered while wearing choke, prong or shock collars.

“Choke, prong and shock collars are punishment-based training tools that can cause fear, leading to increased aggression and stress in dogs,” Morris said.

“We are pleased to see the city prohibit dogs from being tethered while wearing these types of inhumane collars.”

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN CONSIDERS REVISING ANIMAL BYLAWS AFTER SPATE OF ANIMAL CRUELTY CASES

The updated bylaw also includes requirements for keeping dogs that animal control officers have assessed to be dangerous, in addition to existing rules for aggressive dogs.

Dangerous dogs must wear a humane, basket-style muzzle in public places.

The city has also expanded its definition of distress to include all animals, not just dogs who show signs of suffering from heat illness in hot cars.

Distress now refers to any animal who has been injured, abused, neglected, subject to excessive temperatures, kept in unsanitary conditions and/or deprived of food, water, exercise, light, ventilation, space and veterinary treatment.

“We applaud the City of Duncan for these progressive changes, ensuring that cats are well-cared for and that their enforcement agents can take action when animals are suffering,” says Morris.

“It demonstrates an understanding by the municipality that nuisance behaviours and animal stress are related.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Andrea Rondeau column: What are your time capsule must-haves?

It would also be fun to include some pop culture mementos that represent our time.

Climbers compete for Choc and Chalk

Annual competition attracts more than 100

Sarah Simpson Column: Social media mobilized to identify found film photo

Over the course of the day, the post generated a couple of hundred responses.

Skating at the Gardens

Duncan Skating Club entertains at Butchart Gardens

T.W. Paterson column: Hudson Bay Co.’s Dr. Benson marched to a different drummer

Chief Factor James Douglas soon banished him to the Columbia River

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Most Read