Guest Column: Morinville’s Animal Control Bylaw – Part 2

The last article noted that the Town has defined a requirement to amend Bylaw 26/2010 (the Morinville Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw). Apparently what we have on the books re cat control leaves something to be desired. Mind you, our senior enforcement officer (CPO Sgt. William Norton) readily admits that the current program is not working and that enforcement staff do not actively patrol for or apprehend stray cats.

The first question to be asked is: “Why not?”

The existing bylaw is pretty clear on all aspects of cat control, with Parts III (Responsibility of Animal Owners) and VI (Pound Keeping and Impoundment) giving distinct direction to all concerned. However, unless the Town is going to pro-actively enforce the existing regulations, we’re dead in the water. As previously noted, rather than live up to its duties and responsibilities, Administration would prefer to be completely shed of the problem, therefore making us, the victims in this situation, responsible.

When Administration proposes, and Council ratifies, ANY bylaw but then enforces that bylaw only periodically at best, you are really encouraging disrespect for the law.

And that my friends, for any number of reasons, is totally unacceptable!

It’s already bad enough that the non-owner must get a trap, do the deed and then care for the animal (sometimes for days) before turning said critter over to the enforcement folks. What then would be the potential consequences of making the “victim” fully responsible? Dead cats in the street?

Should the Town, for whatever reason, decide to either not effectively deal with this situation or make “Joe Citizen” totally responsible to handle cat complaints, I suggest that you not be terribly surprised or offended when “Joe Citizen” resorts to less than humane practices to resolve the problem.


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Make no mistake about it… most ordinary, normally law-abiding citizens just don’t appreciate someone else’s cat defecating in their kid’s sandboxes or their gardens, and they will take matters into their own hands. This is likely to happen because most of us do not have the spare cash to throw away on something for which we already pay taxes. The general population’s responsibility toward this problem should start – and end – with notification to the CPO of a situation. Exactly how our Administration handles it is their worry, not ours. That’s what we pay taxes for.

James O’Brien, Citizen

Author’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles to be produced over the summer and continues a discussion on our animal control bylaw, especially that portion dealing with cats.

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1 Comment

  1. James your quite right. The self regulated method was being used prior to the last bylaw coming into effect. That and multiple complaints about roaming cats forced council to act with a bylaw. If administration and council want a lot of their week taken up dealing with repeated cat complaints, just eliminate the bylaw.
    Joe citizen.

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