Just because someone decides to live outside city limits doesn’t mean they should have to live in fear of being attacked by a neighbour’s dog.
That is what Westwold resident Debbi Vanderydt says she endures on a daily basis and recently had to make a decision whether to save her two-year-old daughter or her 12-pound terrier from two vicious 75-pound dogs that leapt her fence.
What a terrible choice to have to make. She was left with nearly $2,000 in vet bills for her savaged little dog, which had chunks of hide torn off.
She and others like her should be pleased with the revised tact the board of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District has taken with its consideration of a dangerous dog bylaw, up for discussion Thursday.
Shifting gears from its original concept in March, the proposed bylaw will not consider nuisance dogs, like those barking or running loose, nor will it get into naming certain breeds as more dangerous than others. Rather it will focus strictly on canines that have killed or seriously injured a person or domestic animal.
This revised draft also comes with a reduced cost — around $25,000 a year for the 10 unincorporated areas, instead of the original $100,000 for a broader city-style service, which translates into roughly $2 on the tax bill for a typical household in the TNRD.
The bylaw, if approved, gives RCMP the authority to “attend/investigate and determine if the dog was dangerous,” seize the animal and take it to a dog pound, and possibly continue an investigation to see if the dog should be deemed dangerous.
Owners of seized dogs would have to pay a $350 dangerous dog impoundment fee, plus $20 per day for “board and maintenance.”
So the bylaw wouldn’t make RCMP into the “doggie deputies” Pritchard TNRD director Ken Gillis suggested in March they wanted to avoid, but take aim only at dogs that attack.
If supported by the rural directors, this new, practical bylaw should assure TNRD residents that they have somewhere to turn, beyond the expensive court process or living in fear of attack, as a recourse from vicious dogs.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.