The City of Castlegar has entered into an agreement with the local SPCA branch to provide animal control and sheltering services for the city.
Previously the city had employed an animal control officer to do the job. But the person who held that position for quite a number of years resigned in 2019, leaving the position vacant.
All animal control issues since 2019 have been dealt with on a complaint basis without patrols. Management of the service was handled by the city’s director of protective services, fire chief Sam Lattanzio and the city’s corporate services director Tracy Butler.
The SPCA will provide a minimum of 20 hours per week of animal control patrols. They will also take care of the impounding and sheltering of animals picked up or delivered within the city in accordance with the city’s animal control bylaw.
They will have the authority to issue warnings and tickets related to animal control bylaw infractions.
During office hours, the SPCA will also provide dead animal disposal and pick up at the rate of $200 per animal.
They will also attend court proceedings regarding animal control for the city at the rate of $100 per hour.
The agreement is for three years and will cost $51,561 plus taxes each year.
Butler says the city has noticed a decline in dog licensing since 2019.
“With the BCSPCA now conducting patrols we hope to remind dog owners to please visit City Hall to make sure their dog is licenced,” says Butler.
Earlier this year, the city updated its animal control bylaw.
The new rules avoid singling out dogs by breed and use a three-tiered approach to defining problem animals — aggressive dog, vicious dog and dangerous dog. Each category has a different set of fees and care expectations.
The bylaw also lays out minimum standards of care for animals including things like clean water, food, exercise, shelter for outdoor animals, and veterinary care.
Fees for spayed/neutered dogs that do not fall into one of the problem animal categories are $25 annually. Fees for non-spayed/neutered dogs are $75.