SPCA applauds city’s new bylaw on aggressive dogs
The Kamloops SPCA is wagging its tail in approval of tougher city bylaws concerning aggressive dogs. The local SPCA said it supports several new rules that will require aggressive dogs to wear electronic microchip identification and a restriction in leash length to two metres. “Any measures like that are good,” said Charleen Halloway, the Kamloops SPCA’s manager, adding the new rules should help in controlling an aggressive dog. “I think it’s great the city is looking at ways to keep the public safe, as well as the dog.” However, she said proper dog training and an owner’s understanding of what potentially triggers the aggression is another important part of the issue that still needs to be addressed. Included in the city’s new bylaw is a restriction to keep aggressive dogs from being in off-leash dog parks and a change in the way the city refers to problem dogs — to “aggressive” from “dangerous.” The city spent six months reviewing its dog responsibility and control bylaw, which was first adopted in 2004. Since the original bylaw was adopted, the city has deemed 17 dogs dangerous — a total of five in 2011 so far — but has never taken the steps to have one destroyed. The city deals with an average of 128 files per year relating to aggressive dogs. As for the SPCA, Halloway noted the shelter deals with very few aggressive-dog calls. Instead, she said many owners contact the organization seeking advice on how to deal with aggressive behaviour before an incident occurs. “People really don’t want those behaviours to continue in their dogs, so they’re seeking out advice on how to manage that,” she said. The number of dangerous dogs in the city represents fewer than one per cent of the 7,517 dogs registered in Kamloops.