Three-dog plight for Barnhartvale family
A Barnhartvale family will have to find a new home for one of their pets after Kamloops city council turned down a request to keep three dogs at their Uplands Drive home.
Though the Duczak family brought in letters of support from more than half of their neighbours — including Kamloops South-Thompson Liberal MLA Kevin Krueger — a long history of bylaw visits and tickets did more to sway council this week.
According to a report by bylaw services, the Duczaks’ dogs have been the subject of 18 complaints since 2005. In many of the cases, the dogs were found roaming the streets.
However, Otto Duczak told council, many of the issues in the report involved a dog no longer living on the property.
He said the current three-dog situation is temporary. Two of the dogs belong to his daughter, Juliana, who plans to move out of the house once she has saved up the money to do so.
While he admitted the dogs have wandered off the unfenced property in the past, Duczak said he has trained them not to do so now and sometimes chains them to the garage.
“I’m a responsible person. I try to do the best I can,” he said. “I’ve complied most of the time. I’ve paid every fine.”
Several councillors said they would be willing to support the application — but only if the Duczaks agreed to build a fence or get a dog pen.
“I think that would solve almost 100 per cent of your problems,” said Coun. Arjun Singh.
But, Duczak said, that isn’t something he’s willing to do.
“My wife completely refuses to fence her yard. And, I refuse to fence my yard because of the price,” he said, putting the cost at about $20,000 for the large lot.
“It would take a lot of money. And, I think it’s different being out in a rural community. It’s not like having a dog in downtown Seymour Street here.”
Duczak said if council approved the application, he would keep the dogs chained more often and try to keep a closer eye on them when they are outside.
However, that wasn’t enough for many on council.
“All I heard in terms of the presentation is that he would be happy to continue to pay the fines for any bylaw tickets we gave him in the future,” said Coun. Nancy Bepple.
“There is a solution there and Mr. Duczak continues not to take it,” added Coun. Pat Wallace.
“He would prefer to continue to feel that the bylaw people are after him.”
Singh suggested council agree to the variance, but attach a condition that the family must build a dog pen, a run or a fence.
But, by the time that solution was raised, a motion was already on the table to deny the family’s request.
That passed by a vote of 5-4, with Singh, Mayor Peter Milobar and councillors Donovan Cavers and Marg Spina opposed.
Those in favour of denying the request included councillors Bepple, Wallace, Ken Christian, Nelly Dever and Tina Lange.