Fixing the animal bylaws in Kitimat

An escalating fine structure and micro chipping requirements may be coming soon to Kitimat.

With third reading now passed, if council adopts the spay/neuter and micro chip provisions in the Kitimat Municipal Code, dog owners could potentially face up to $600 in fines.

That is, if their dog is impounded for a fifth time in a 24 month period.

Councillors opted to have micro chipping included in the proposed bylaw at the June 10 committee of the whole meeting.

Essentially dog owners will have an escalating fine structure if their animal is caught at large and is not neutered or spayed. It starts at $130 for the first impoundment, going to $160 the second time, $200 the third, and $400 the fourth.

Cats caught at large will merely stay at a single $130 fee.

Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Kitimat Warren Waycheshen says that decision was made because typically people give up cats easier than other animals.

To that end they didn’t want to make a fee scheme which would not be cost prohibitive as to make people choose to give up their cats.

The recommendation was also made with input from the Kitimat Humane Society.

Pet owners would be given a $100 voucher to go towards spaying or neutering their pets if they were caught under this bylaw.

Meanwhile, micro chipping will be enforced through fees if an animal is caught without one.

For both dogs and cats the fee is $25 for each impoundment.