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

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

Vandals burned a hole in the platform at the top of the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom early on the morning of Thursday, April 22. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson closes Somenos Marsh viewing platform

Fletcher estimates the damage at more than $5,000.

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

More sleeping cabins for the homeless in the Cowichan Valley could soon be put in place if a $2.5-million grant application to the UBCM Strengthening Communities’ Services funding program is successful. (File photo)
Funding sought to expand homeless initiatives in Cowichan Valley

$2.5-million grant would see more sleeping cabins and outreach projects

The old Stanley Gordon school in Lake Cowichan. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)
Editorial: Old school properties represent potential for our areas

There are opportunities, often sitting right in the middle of our small communities.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read