April 22nd, 2024

City launches survey on animal bylaw review

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on March 1, 2024.

Herald photo by Al Beeber A dog greets a visitor to Community Animal Services. The City has launched the second phase of its animal bylaw review.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The City of Lethbridge has launched the second phase of its animal bylaw review by launching an online survey that runs until March 25.

The survey can be found at getinvolvedlethbridge.ca

This phase will be the public engagement section of the review. The first was an open online forum for the public to submit comments, ideas and thoughts on concerns and issues about the regulation of domestic animals in Lethbridge.

The City presently regulates animals through three bylaws, which are all fairly old, said Skylar Plourde, Director of Services and Enforcement with Community Animal Services on Thursday.

Those include the dog control bylaw, the wild and domestic animals bylaw, which covers regulates the keeping of livestock and wild animals and the pigeon bylaw which dates back to the era when pigeons were kept as pets and raced.

Data from the first phase was used to identify the major topics of concern and conversation of the public and a more specific survey was developed. Results from the second phase survey will be used to help draft a new modernized animal bylaw which the City hopes to put in front of council by the end of September.

Control and keeping of cats was among two hot topics during the first phase of engagement. The other was the keeping of urban chickens.

“Those are topics that have been brought up a number of times over a long period,” said Plourde.

The City is hoping the new survey will give more of a “yes” or “no” to those matters.

The City is also looking at updates to the dog control bylaw to modernize it, such as adjusting fees and fine amounts.

“A lot of work is being done with our other stakeholders and partner agencies that will be involved with these bylaws or these bylaws will touch the work that they do so our teams are also working with them in the background, added Plourde, to ensure the bylaw covers all issues the community wants addressed.

“The biggest thing with this Phase 2 is that we are looking to hear from everybody in the community. So it’s really important that we get feedback from not only pet owners but people who don’t own pets as well because ultimately we’ll have some interaction with domestic animals as we live in, play and work in the city,” added Plourde.

“The information is really going to be helpful on developing a modernized bylaw that addresses the issues that this community believes to be priorities,” he said.

Residents will be able to review early findings on April 25 at the Enmax Centre during the City’s next Community Conversation.

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