HIGH RIVER: New Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw # 15/2019 approved by Foothills County on March 13, 2019 outlines in detail the responsibilities of dog owners and provides better tools for Community Peace Officers with Foothills Patrol.
“With this new Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw, we have equipped our Peace Officers with better and more appropriate tools to ensure they are able to provide efficient and effective responses to problematic dog behaviours,” said Ryan Payne, Deputy CAO and Director of Community Services. “We will require dog owners to be responsible for the behavior and conduct of their dog(s) whether they are residents or visitors, on public or private property.”
The updated bylaw offers Foothills Patrol Peace Officers improved functional tools to deal with concerns from residents. The bylaw now identifies and describes varying levels of aggressive dog behavior, dog bites and resulting impact on victims with fines that reflect the different levels.
Foothills Patrol Peace Officers now are able to seize a dog that has been involved in a biting type incident, in order to have a behavioural assessment completed. The results of the behavioural assessment ensure appropriate steps are taken throughout the investigation, issuance of violation tickets and any necessary Court applications.
Statistics from 2018 indicate Foothills County Community Peace Officers investigated 98 dog complaints. This comprises almost 40% of all complaints investigated by the Peace Officers last year.
The new Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw may be found on the Foothills County website at www.mdfoothills.com.