Dangerous dogs in county face stiffer fines, penalties

Vicious dogs in the County of Stettler have been given a tighter leash to protect people and property.

Vicious dogs in the County of Stettler have been given a tighter leash to protect people and property.

At its regular meeting Dec. 9, county council adopted a bylaw to stiffen the penalties for vicious dogs.

For dogs causing damage over $10, dog owners will face a fine of $100 for the first offence, $200 for the second offence and $300 for the third offence.

“I’m glad this bylaw passed with tougher penalties,” said Councillor Vic Carey who initiated the stiffer penalties in October after one of his close relatives was involved in a dog attack in the Village of Big Valley.

“I believe it’s necessary in order to protect our residents and property and visitors in our county.”

Under the updated bylaw, a vicious dog means a dog that chases, injures or bites person or animal, threatens, are maliciously damages property without being provoked.

Previously, the dog-control bylaw (1387-08) lacks any authority for the County of Stettler to handle vicious dogs and/or vicious dog attacks” said chief administrative officer Tim Fox.

Now, the new bylaw will assist Alberta Animal Services under contract with the county to better enforce dog control, deal with vicious dogs to protect people and ensure the county receives adequate reimbursement for costs with the appropriate penalty structure in place.

The new bylaw has significant penalties and fines in place to cover costs associated with the enforcement of the bylaw and to handle vicious dogs.”

The owner of dog must ensure that the dog does not run at large off owner’s property and is under control and restrained.

“If a dog is deemed to be a vicious dog, then there are stricter guidelines to keep the dog under control while on and off the owner’s property,” said Fox.

Dog owner faces a minimum fine of $500 for vicious dog that chases, injures or bites a person or animal or fails to keep a vicious dog confined.

A minimum $250 will be applied to a dog owner for a vicious dog that damages or destroys property, fail to keep vicious dog under control of adult, fail to keep vicious dog muzzled, harnessed, leashed, confined or vicious dog running at large.

Owner of a dog that causes damage to property will be fined $100 for the first offence, $200 for second offence and $300 for third offence.

Owner of a dog bites or attacks a person or other animal faces court.

Owner of a dog that chases a person, animal, vehicle, bicycle faces fines.

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