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New Animal Responsibility Bylaw introduced

February 7, 2017

For immediate release: February 7, 2017

Surrey BC – Surrey City Council approved the new Animal Responsibility Bylaw at last night’s Regular Council meeting. Among the key objectives of the new Bylaw are to better prevent dog bites, mitigate risks associated with aggressive dogs and promote responsible dog ownership.

“The new Animal Responsibility Bylaw has been developed after consulting with canine experts including organizations such as the BC SPCA, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “Our goal is to modernize our bylaws to further minimize the risk to the general public in respect to aggressive and dangerous dogs.”

As a result of the updates, there are now more tools for the City to deal with dogs behaving aggressively in the community.

“Under the old bylaw a dog would have to physically attack an individual before it could be deemed as dangerous,” said Jas Rehal, Manager of Bylaws and Licensing Services. “The new Animal Responsibility Bylaw gives us the latitude to intervene when a dog is behaving aggressively and before a dog bite or attack occurs.”

Below is a list of some of the key changes in the new bylaw.

• Creating new offense categories to handle aggressive behaviours that occur while a dog is on leash or in a permitted off leash area.

• Penalties for aggressive behaviour ranging from $200 for failing to post a warning sign regarding a guard dog on property, to $1000 for an un-muzzled dangerous dog, thereby including the ability for officers to write multiple penalties.

• Implementing a tiered system of registering dogs – normal, aggressive, vicious, and dangerous - thus providing officers tools to address problematic animal behavior prior to a dangerous event.

• Requirements for owners of dogs that are defined as aggressive, vicious or dangerous, ranging from seeking the assistance of a qualified professional trainer, muzzling restrictions, confinement specifications and signage on the property.

• Adding penalties including escalated licensing fees for the relevant classification of dog ranging from the annual license fee of $43.00 for an altered normal dog, to $500 for a dangerous dog annual license fee.

• Increasing penalties associated with dogs running at large from $200 to $300.

• Including authority for officers to eject a dog(s) from an off leash area.

• Including requirements around the keeping of “Guard Dogs.”

Additional information on the Animal Responsibility Bylaw can be found here.

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Program information:
Jas Rehal
Manager Bylaws and Licensing
City of Surrey
604.591.4013
jrehal@surrey.ca

Media inquiries:
Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey
604.591.4519
owlum@surrey.ca