Three-dog blight? Pet owners get amnesty
Kamloops pet owners who have been keeping more than their share of dogs have until the end of the year to apply to keep their third pet without paying a hefty fee.
The fee amnesty won’t apply to pet owners who are busted because of neighbourhood complaints, but will give pet owners who are flagged when they buy three dog licenses from the city some relief, said Mayor Peter Milobar.
This year, the city started charging $350 for variance applications to keep more than two dogs per residence, the maximum allowed under Kamloops bylaws.
Milobar said the fee allows the city to notify neighbours of the variance request and find out if there are any concerns or complaints of which council is unaware.
“What’s happening in the neighbourhoods really won’t change,” Milobar said.
“The only thing is the person who’s being flagged because they’re trying to do the right thing and have three licences won’t be charged for this year only,” he said.
A dozen such cases have come to the city this year and Milobar said more than one-quarter of the people involved have asked for financial assistance to cover the fees.
Two councillors worried the grace period would encourage more residents to add an extra dog to their households.
“I think we’ll encourage people that see a cute puppy to pick it up and take it home with the two or three dogs they’ve already got,” said Pat Wallace.
“Lots of people are terribly sorry we allow two dogs — and you have to live by a barking dog to appreciate that.”
Nancy Bepple believes waiving the fee for 2012 could force council to do the same in 2013.
“If we do it this year, we’ll be doing it next year for somebody and the year after, and we might as well just have a three-dog policy,” she said.
A vote on the issue passed 7 to 2, with Wallace and Bepple opposed.
Residents with three dogs will still have to pay $17 per dog this year, and $25 per dog next year for licences.