By Derek Kaye, Castlegar News contributor
City council recently sniffed-out a wind of injustice, and no longer do dog owners or their pooches have to fear.
Many families have a pet, and whether it’s a turtle, rat, cat or dog, they often become loved family members. All too frequently they escape. If you live in the boonies it may be just a jaunt in the neighbouring wilderness. If you live in a town or city, dogs if running loose at large are picked-up by an animal control officer. They are then brought to a city pound or town veterinary office and kept there for a certain period of time. In Castlegar the bylaw was 72 hours. If they were not claimed within that time the animal could have legally been euthanized. Although it was not likely, the animal’s demise was a possibility.
Castlegar is ahead of the pack by changing its bylaw. Animals are not euthanized but instead will be taken care of until they are reunited with their owners or a new permanent home is found for them. This is a blessing if your pet is an escape artist and whose curiosity may well bring trouble down on them. Maybe your friend who came over for coffee, didn’t properly latch the gate or your pet is adept at turning handles, chewing rope, breaking chains or whatever. They may be be on the prowl. If you had been one of the smart ones and got a licence for your dog, then you can be notified straight away to come pick-up your pooch. If you’re out of town for a week, now an alternate phone number if registered with your licence, can be used to get your dog back home.
Castlegar city councillor Debbie Macintosh was a strong supporter of the change in the bylaw. She was contacted by the Castlegar News to get more information. The question was posed as to how many animals had been euthanized in the past. The answer was that no healthy animals had ever been euthanized.