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New animal control bylaw features many changes


City council’s new animal control bylaw, which took effect, Apr. 1, is a lot more comprehensive that the old bylaw, according to the city’s animal control officer, Todd Tarrant.
“A lot of the rules have changed. It’s given the owners more responsibility. And we’ve added a few more rules for house keeping that were needed over the last year that haven’t been contained in the last bylaw,” he said.
The focus, he said, in the cold months will be barking.
“We’re concentrating on not more than 15 minutes in the first hour. That allows you to go outside, your pets run around and bark a little bit, use the facilities outside and then you get your pet back inside. That couldn’t disturb anybody,” Tarrant said, adding dogs and cats cannot be left unattended for more than 15 minutes under the new bylaw.
Animals can be tied up on a leash no longer than six feet in length, but that, Tarrant said, can be changed depending on the size of the dog.
“You just have to contact my office,” he said.
Tarrant is also looking into all-weather shelters for dogs.
“That’s dog houses that have to be insulated in the winter time. And leashes for walking dogs around town, they can have no longer than six feet leash now under the new bylaw. Now there can be exceptions again for smaller dogs by contacting my office,” he added.
Vaccinating and licensing your pets must be done on an annual basis. Pet owners are also limited to own two dogs and two cats, but no combinations such as four dogs and no cats.
“You’re only allowed two of each animal,” Tarrant said, adding these are all direct ticketing offences.
“That means you would get a ticket from the bylaw officer in Dauphin and your house would be ticketed. So if you’re a renter, the renter doesn’t get a ticket, the landlord gets a ticket. That’s bit of a change they had in the new bylaw.”
This year, the city activated the Emergency Response to Disease Protocol (ERDP), which was organized by Tarrant and the city when he started his position in 2007. It was put in place in case a doctor of veterinarian medicine declares an animal disease awareness or emergency.
“It’s happened earlier this year. Earlier in 2020, animal control was made aware of a cat distemper that can be vaccinated. It should be verified or renewed in all cats as soon as possible. So we just ask the owners of cats to check with their local veterinarian where they have their animal vaccinated and check to see if they have the current distemper vaccination,” Tarrant said, adding all licenced cat owners in Dauphin were notified.
“Under our system, we can notify everyone that has a licence in case of a disease awareness within six hours. So we did contact everyone. But I’m sorry if people don’t have their cats or dogs licenced, there’s no way we know they have animals, so we can’t warn them if there is a disease awareness. So hopefully, people will take that under consideration and licence their dog and cats for us,” he said.
The cost to licence dogs and cats in 2021 will increase to $45 for a non-fixed dog or cat and $30 for a fixed dog or cat. Tarrant said pet owners must bring a vaccination certificate or a health certificate to city hall at the time of licencing at the clerk’s desk.
“And they will issue a licence once they verify your dog has been spayed or neutered and the dog has had a current vaccination,” he said, adding new licences were available, Nov. 1.
If anyone has any questions, they can contact Tarrant at 204-648-3593 or visit the city’s website at dauphin.ca and download a copy of the bylaw, or view it directly.
“It’s not a bother at all. Anyone that would like to give me a call to clarify any points or get a better understanding of the bylaw or things that are happening, I can be called 24 hours a day at that number,” he said.
Tarrant emphasized that animal control does not use social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.
“Because we can’t activate a proper investigation and be unbiased. So we don’t pay attention to social media. We don’t use social media. Trying to contact us through a multi-media source is non-productive,” he said.

Doug Zywina