Aggressive dogs to be controlled in FVRD

Residents in some Fraser Valley Regional District areas may soon have somewhere to call when reporting aggressive dogs.

A bylaw to control aggressive and dangerous dogs in two electoral areas has been approved in principle by the Fraser Valley Regional District.

That means residents in electoral areas D (Popkum and Bridal Falls) and E (Columbia Valley/Chilliwack River Valley/Lindell Beach) may soon have someone to call when faced with dangerous dogs in their neighbourhoods. Currently, FVRD offers animal control services only within the city of Chilliwack. Additionally, the city of Abbotsford has a unique arrangement to send dogs to the Chilliwack pound.

The cost for extending animal control services to areas D and E is about $45,000 annually. It would require residential property taxes to rise by an average of $14.65 annually.

The bylaw has gone to the province for approval. The FVRD is targeting a start date of January 2014.

Three other regions, electoral areas C, F, and G, remain interested in the service as well but are further investigating funding requirements. Because these areas are further removed from FVRD’s pound facility operations in Chilliwack, the cost to residents increases. Quick response is also crucial, explained FVRD chair Sharon Gaetz.

“FVRD staff will be investigating partnerships with other local animal control providers to see if there is a way to provide the service to those areas at a lower cost. Electoral area directors from C, F and G share residents’ safety concerns and continue to explore alternative funding scenarios,” replied Gaetz by email.

Electoral areas A and B, the two largest geographical areas, will not participate because of the high cost associated with travelling distance.

The new bylaw will be limited to addressing aggressive and dangerous dogs. It will not apply to dealing with noise from barking or stray dog pick-ups.

FVRD’s existing animal control services operate exclusively in the city of Chilliwack and include dog licensing, a pound, a pet adoption service, and enforcement of the city’s animal control bylaw. The services will remain centralized in Chilliwack when other electoral areas sign on.

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