Reminder: new dog rules on their way
Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 06:00 am
Anyone with questions about dog parks in St. Albert should call the off-leash help line at 780-418-6004.
There are just a few weeks left to go before new leash controls take effect in St. Albert.
Amendments to the St. Albert animal bylaw adding more defined leash controls and a clarification of dangerous dogs policy go into effect Sept. 1.
“The biggest change is the new on-leash rules,” said manager of policing service Aaron Giesbrecht. “Essentially the current bylaw allows dogs to be off-leash everywhere except in posted on-leash areas. As of Sept. 1, dogs must be on-leash everywhere except in posted off-leash areas.”
A number of parks will remain as off-leash areas for pets after Sept. 1.
Giesbrecht presented the bylaw updates to city council last year.
The bylaw had not been seriously reviewed in more than 20 years and had a number of errors, he said in an interview.
The new bylaw calls for owners to be fined $130 for not keeping their dogs on a leash and $80 if they do not have waste bags with them when out for a walk. The fines and the process for licensing a dog has also been changed.
The fine for not having a dog licence has increased to $250 and, starting in the 2015 licence season, if a person fails to renew a licence by the Jan. 31 deadline, the licence cost increases by 50 per cent.
“That means that a standard $38 licence for a spayed or neutered dog would increase to $52,” Giesbrecht said.
The update also gives the city additional tools to deal with dangerous dogs. Under the new bylaw, a dog can be classified as dangerous by the city and have additional rules placed upon it, such as muzzling and an increased licensing fee.
A dog’s behaviour, and not breed, will determine whether or not it is classified as dangerous.