by Tristan Turner
Morinville News Correspondent
Following multiple rounds of amendments, passes and rescinding of readings and debate, Council has now passed a rework of pet ownership policy in Morinville, changes that will make significant changes to pet registration and enforcement in Morinville.
Chief among these changes included allowing the framework for the registering of nearly any safe animal, including chickens or other less common animal companions through a permitting process. This approval comes following passage of 2nd and 3rd reading of the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.
A motion arising was made by Councillor Rob Ladouceur to limit the number of applicants for chickens to 10 people having a maximum of six chickens each. The motion further limits the registry of unusual animals to just chickens during a one-year trial period for the Bylaw. The Bylaw will be reviewed by Council at the end of the year.
The motion passed with only Deputy Mayor Brennan Fitzgerald voting against because he felt it was unnecessary because administration already had direction from Council, eliminating the need to be in the motion. “I already have faith that the correct decisions [by administration] will be made,” he said.
Those interested in keeping chickens will have specific requirements imposed on them for housing size and style, as well as the need to have taken proper training.
Dogs on a leash
The new law takes effect at the end of the year and will also bring a new on-leash requirement across town (aside from designated off-leash areas), meaning residents will now be required to keep their dogs restrained at all times when in public or face a fine.
Dogs and cats to be registered, not licensed
Owners also will now receive discounts when registering their dogs and cats for completing responsible pet owner tasks, such as neutering their animal and microchipping.
Registering a dog or cat is $100 initially. That amount drops to $50 if the animal is spayed or neutered. The registration drops to $25 if the animal has also been microchipped or tattooed.
Once the animal is registered, the annual renewal fee is $10 per animal, and the animal keeps the same tag throughout its life.
Animal owners will be able to provide permission to include their phone number in the database so that found animals can be searched on the Town website so residents can contact the owner.