Many unaware of dog bylaw restraining rules

In September 2009 a new bylaw came into place addressing aggressive dogs and the ownership of dogs in general. This bylaw included, specifically, a piece about transporting dogs in the beds of trucks.

Recently, it has been brought to light that many people are totally unaware of the regulations regarding how dogs have to be restrained in a truck bed.

“The purpose of the dog bylaw was to address the aggressive dog issue, safety for dogs traveling in vehicles and to provide clarity around fines related to other dog issues,” said City Councillor Lynne Mulder.

Mulder said many complaints were received when people witnessed dogs falling or jumping out of truck beds. Veterinarians in Central Alberta were also mounting an education campaign regarding unrestrained dogs in truck beds.

Since the bylaw came into effect Mulder said she has noticed more canopies and kennels in the backs of trucks.

Mulder explained the bylaw can be enforced through tickets given out by patrolling officers who see dogs in the beds of trucks unrestrained or with the public’s help when a complaint is phoned into the non-emergent line through the RCMP.

The truck bed portion of the bylaw resides in Section 10 of the bylaw. Information on the bylaw itself can be found on the City’s web site.

The bylaw states that a dog must be tied down in such a fashion that they cannot jump over the edge of the truck box, or they must be in a secured kennel or truck canopy.

“The new dog bylaw had a smooth implementation and has been a good opportunity for pet owner education and hopefully it has changed behavior in the interest of the animals,” said Mulder.

Joyce Boon, the City’s inspections and licensing manager, explained the bylaw took a long time to develop because of the extensive research and input from community members.

The bylaw was a pre-existing bylaw that needed some major amendments and additions in order to suit the public’s suggestions as well as the changing City.

Input came from the public, the Red Deer SPCA, Alberta Animal Services and comparisons done with numerous other municipalities.

There is a three-step system to ticketing for bylaw offences. A first offence sees a smaller fine before a second offence, and by the third offence some of the tickets are upwards to $10,000 though the most common ones are around $750 to $1,000.

Specifically, not having a dog adequately secured in a truck bed carries a fine of $250 for the first offence, $500 for a second and $750 for a third.

To make a non-emergent complaint, or report a bylaw offence, citizens can call 403-343-5575. Complaints can also be noted online at www.reddeer.ca.

kpalardy@reddeerexpress.com

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