Port Hardy dog bylaws to be reviewed

Port Hardy council is about to review its bylaws after a man complained about dogs in town.

  • Dec. 23, 2011 8:00 a.m.
A Port Hardy resident is asking mayor and council to toughen bylaws to address on-the-loose dogs and breeders.

A Port Hardy resident is asking mayor and council to toughen bylaws to address on-the-loose dogs and breeders.

Port Hardy council is about to review its bylaws after a man complained about dogs in town.

James Emerson, a local B&B owner and president of Port Hardy’s Chamber of Commerce, had delegation status at council’s regular Dec. 13 meeting.

“We just have too many dogs in Port Hardy,” he told Mayor Bev Parnham and council.

Emerson said he’s heard several stories about residents being bitten — although none of the alleged victims were at the meeting — and even witnessed some of the damage.

“I’ve seen a lady’s leg who was bitten by a dog,” he said.

Emerson also had complaints regarding a particular dog breeder in town.

“We have a pair of dogs on the same street as us and the owners have been very irresponsible in the past in breeding these dogs,” he said.

“We see these dogs … and it’s in their nature to be aggressive.”

Emerson, who said he’s come to understand owners are usually the culprits when dogs act out, said he’d like to see restrictions on how many dogs people can own and on how breeders operate.

“I realize you can’t stop breeding, but you can certainly put some restrictions on it,” he said.

Gloria Le Gal, Port Hardy’s director of Corporate Services said she was unable to recall any recent reports of dog bites.

“If we do get a complaint about a dog bite we tell them two things: they need to talk to the RCMP and the incident must be reported to the Communicable Disease program in Campbell River,” she told council.

Parnham said Port Hardy has to “take a really good look” at the district’s bylaws.

“We’ve got to find a way to get the message out to people that animals cannot be at large,” she said.

Parnham said district bylaws demand breeders apply for a business licence.

“But we have no actual control over that,” she said.

“We don’t have an SPCA, we don’t have anyone who looks after the breeders themselves and monitors them to make sure they know what they’re supposed to do.”

The issue was forwarded to the district’s legislative review committee,

“I’d also like the RCMP and animal control people to have a closer look at the situation,” Parnham said.