by Colin Smith
Morinville has a dog problem, believes Councillor Stephen Dafoe, who put the issue of dogs at large on the agenda for Council’s October 15 Committee of the Whole meeting.
During discussion of the item he stated that this summer he has seen dogs off-leash throughout the town, both on the trails and in his own neighbourhood. He also witnessed one dog attack last spring – and said it’s known there have been others.
“I’ve received complaints directly by email, by phone, and in-person while out shopping in town,” Dafoe said, adding both his wife and a friend had experienced close calls while walking dogs this past summer.
“I’m a dog person. I own two,” he added. “They are always on a leash because as small as they are – they are animals for whom territory is important. As such, even the best-behaved dog cannot be controlled when nature takes over.”
Dafoe pointed out that Council had previously made the decision to change Morinville’s Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw to include a requirement that dogs be leashed when in public, with owners subject to a fine for non-compliance.
He questioned the effectiveness of this provision of the bylaw. “Is the current fine significant enough to ensure compliance? I’d suggest not.”
Dafoe also queried what is being done to ensure compliance and more enforcement.
He then moved that the Administration return to Council with the Third Quarter report with a breakdown of the number of complaints and the number of tickets issued for animals at large (dogs and cats).
The motion passed unanimously.