So did anyone else watch HRM Regional Council last night on television? I wish I hadn't. They talked about 2 things related to dogs. Putting the definition of kennels back into the A300 bylaw, and the topic of dog registrations.
The idea of putting the definition of kennels was talked about for about 10 seconds -- if you looked sideways you would have missed it. It was on the agenda, and it was the result of a staff report that was asked for back in July because a constituent of Councilor Barkhouse is a breeder, and under the now defunct bylaw D100 breeders only had to pay a $100 fee - and they could have as many dogs as they wanted as long as they registered their kennel. Under A300 - there is no definition of kennel - so they have to register EVERY ONE of their dogs - and if you're a breeder - guess what? None of your dogs are probably going to be spayed or neutered, and the cost of that type of dog is $50 bucks a dog! So that is a big chunk of change for a hobby breeder. So CKC types should be plenty pissed off with that - and rightfully so.
And guess why they don't want to have a definition of kennels in A300? It's because A300 is HRM wide - they want the definition of kennels to be ONLY in the land use bylaws - because there's TWENTY-ONE of them - and there's some areas of the HRM that our city officials and bureaucrats don't think that certain dog businesses and in home occupations are APPROPRIATE - ie the infamous Janet Chernin and her three year hell-on-earth trial to make her in-home doggy day care legal - while out in Hammonds Plains Wendy Gillespie gets her in-home doggy day care made legal in a year - and out in Seaforth - Camp Dog gets legalized simply by applying for a licence!!!!!!!
Should you be enraged by the unevenness of your ability to get dog services depending on which area of the HRM you live in simply because the City's employees don't think you should have access to those services in your section of the city? HELL YEAH!
And that's what went on last night at HRM City Council.
The Staff report about the Kennel Situation is here - http://halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/090120ca82.pdf
The 21 different land use bylaws are here if you want to have a look at them - http://halifax.ca/planning/map.html
Only SEVENTEEN of the 21 land use bylaws have definitions of kennels in them - the other 4 land use bylaws would not allow any in home occupations that involve dogs, and they would NOT allow any hobby breeders, or kennels or anything to do with animals. Do you think that's fair? Do you live in the areas of Dartmouth, Downtown Dartmouth, Halifax Mainland, or Halifax Peninsula? You are shit out of luck if you want to be a small time entrepeneur in this city.
As to the registration of dogs - that went from the ridiculous to the sublime last night with the Councilors not able to figure out one good reason why dog owners should register their dogs with the City - and the person responsible for writing the fantabulous A300 bylaw - Sargeant MacNeil - couldn't think of a reason either when asked what was the difference if a dog owner bought a $2 name tag for their dog instead of paying $15 for a tag from the city - and Animal Control caught the dog and repatrioted it back to his home fammily. MacNeil said there'd be no difference because the $2 name tag had the same information on it that the City tag would.
I emailed my Councilor Steve Adams - because he was the one asking the question - but he didn't get the answer in time, because they were so LOATHE to talk about dogs that they'd already moved on to the next agenda item. But there's a big reason (supposedly) why City tags are so much better than home made tags - and it's called - has anybody figured it out yet?...... drum roll.... anybody?..... What do they call it in other cities?...... It's called a ...... FREE RIDE HOME...... That's why we pay to register our dogs! And yet no one could think of that fringe benefit last night at city council. What a bunch of maroons. Really.
Another fact that they couldn't seem to let sink in was the fact that the report that Sargeant MacNeil was presenting - and he also said it at the Council meeting was the fact that in December - they were able to send more dogs back to their original homes rather than putting them in the shelter - which is the #1 aim of any responsible Animal Control authority. Jeez. Here's the report from the licencing strategy - http://halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/090120ca83.pdf