Thursday, June 11, 2015

Port Hawkesbury's Dog Bylaw makes me Itchy

There was an article in the Chronicle Herald this week about how Port Hawkesbury may be getting a new dog park - which is fabulous, but it mentioned that their dog bylaw was recently rewritten, so I went and had a look at it - and it did not make me feel good inside.

It had all the usual things that a badly written dog bylaw has - that it is illegal to keep a dog for dog fighting purposes - which is silly to have in a bylaw - because that is covered in federal anti-cruelty laws, and that a dog can be killed on the spot for simply running at large - but it also has something that you don't see in most dog bylaws in Nova Scotia:

34. This bylaw may be enforced, at the discretion of the Town of Port Hawkesbury:
a:) in accordance with the procedures set out in the Municipal Government Act;

This really worries me - because the Port Hawkesbury dog bylaw up until this point does not mention breed specific legislation - but the Municipal Government Act - STILL does have breed specific legislation in it - it says -

175 (1) Without limiting the generality of Section 172, a council may make by-laws
(e) defining fierce or dangerous dogs, including defining them by breed, cross-breed, partial breed or type;

All around Port Hawkesbury - there is BSL - Richmond County, Guysborough County, the district of the Municipality of Antigonish - there is BSL - it really worries me that they would have this line in their dog bylaw.

If I was an owner of a targeted breed in Port Hawkesbury - I would be worried.

I would also be worried if my dog tended to like to go for walkabouts - that my dog would be killed for doing that - which he SHOULDN'T be.

Here is their dog bylaw if you are interested in reading it - - it's not a particularly good one.

Here is the Chronicle Herald article that got me started:

Port Hawkesbury sniffing out dog park site

Port Hawkesbury is going to the dogs.

Following a revamping of the town’s animal control bylaw a few years ago, several pet owners complained of having no place to take their furry friends.

With the goal of creating a dog-friendly space, a group of residents later formed a committee to build an off-leash park that would be the first of its kind in the municipality.

“We had a council meeting the other night and we have to look at two or three options for location,” said Mayor Billy Joe MacLean. “So they’re doing that as we speak.”

MacLean said members of the Port Hawkesbury Dog Park are now fundraising to support the ongoing project.

He said town will make a financial contribution, although the exact amount has not yet been decided.

“There’s full support on council for a dog park,” said MacLean. “It was unanimous, it’s just the location that’s in question.”

According to Port Hawkesbury’s amended bylaw, town employees may impound any dog that runs at large, is not wearing a tag, is not registered, is fierce or dangerous, is rabid or appears rabid, or persistently disturbs the quiet of the neighbourhood.

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