Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bylaw A300 HAS Been Passed with all it's horribleness!

I always read the Municipal notices in the Saturday Chronicle Herald since I watch the HRM City Council on tv on Tuesday nights - I usually recognize what the notices are about - so I was stung this morning when I read the attached notice - Bylaw A300 HAS actually finally passed - WITH the cats in the bylaw, and most of the horrible things in it that people didn't want.

All a dog has to do to attack another dog or a human is to "appear threatening", a dangerous dog can be a dangerous dog simply because of the way it looks now; you ARE allowed to trap your neighbours cat if it shows up on your property - just about the only good thing that's changed is that prohibited animals owned within 90 days of the implementation of the bylaw and that are microchipped are grandfathered in - so people who own them already are allowed to keep them - they don't have to turn them over to have them killed.

It's nice to see that the HRM City Council - behind closed doors - was listening to their constituents - on both sides of the debate. For shame.

It takes effect April 1st, 2008 - you can read it in all it's glory at


  1. Anonymous3:05 AM


    Thank you for raising this.

    Bylaw A-300 will be implemented but cats somehow managed to do a door dash from the previous provisions. All references to cats were removed (again) and, subject to a public hearing and report by Staff, may be modified (minus the licensing) and included in a revised Bylaw N-300 (aka the Nuisance Bylaw). Basically, the cat-related pricetag of Bylaw A-300gave Councillors a MASSIVE hairball.

    I can understand how dog owners might feel. Dogs are licensed and responsible pet owners like yourself are very conscientious about abiding by all the rules. It follows that some might feel that it's just unfair to treat cats differently. I still think that many responsible cat owners (myself included) would not have been bent too far outtta shape by making a contribution (whether via a license etc) IF they knew that it was going towards helping cats- but this was never the intention under Bylaw A-300. In theory, licensing is linked to helping stray animals find their way home. In reality, this works mainly for dogs. Cat collars are designed to break away as a safety feature- this is why microchipping is far superior. Dog collars are not designed to break free- partly because if they failed in this way, it could result in one's dog getting killed in traffic. Moreover, nobody notices a cat wandering around. But most people know something is wrong when they see a dog wandering with no owner. I myself have stepped in on a couple of occasions to help apparently lost dogs get home. I think that the apparent double standard is not about treating dogs (or their owners) unfairly. It's about doing what's best for dogs and cats. Ultimately, I think that's what responsible pet owners like you and me want the most for our beloved furry friends.

    And as you pointed out, the existing provisions for dogs in Bylaw A-300 contain a few serious flaws regarding what constitutes dog attacks (the potential repercussions are obviously pretty scary- and safety is not the only consideration. If it were, all dogs would be muzzled- a ridiculous suggestion). In my view, some of these provisions were not subjected to sufficient rigor (some might say common sense). How else to explain the fact that the bylaw does not make any meaningful distinction between an animal and a domestic animal as regards to dog attacks (or the appearance thereof). As such, if Fido decides to chase a squirrel (good luck),for example, this constitutes an attack !

    More info:


  2. Anonymous7:34 PM

    Hi Joan,

    Thanks for this post. I did read the by-law, I'm a bit confused by it. When you (and the bylaw) say that an aminal microchipped within 90 days of the bylaw passing would be grandfathered in, what does that protect them from? I've been trying to stay on top of all of this info but it is so confusing.