Surrey adds more bite to dog responsibility bylaws

SURREY – Careless dog owners had better think twice about how they treat their pet now that the City of Surrey has introduced tougher bylaws around animal responsibility.

 

Following changes made to the city’s dog responsibility bylaw at the June 23 council meeting, owners who now leave their dogs

 

in hot vehicles or loose in the back of pickup trucks can be fined $500 anywhere in Surrey.

 

The bylaw amendments now give animal control officers greater powers to hand out on-the-spot fines to careless owners while maintaining the ability to further escalate punitive charges through the courts.

 

The new policy also comes a month after six dogs in Langley died after being left in the back of a truck during a hot day.

 

While bylaw enforcement officers are still

 

unable to remove pets from vehicles under any circumstances, as only the BC SPCA or RCMP are able to do so, the new policies make it easier for city enforcement to dole out fines if any of the following conditions are breached:. Adequate ventilation must exist anywhere a dog is confined;. Dogs must be transported in a safe manner that prevents their injury and can’t be tied up wearing a choke collar;

 

. Dogs cannot spend more than four hours per 24-hour period tethered; Amy Morris, a policy and outreach officer for the BC SPCA said the bylaw change comes as welcome news and expects the care of pets in Surrey to change for the better.

 

Last fall, Surrey council introduced a four-hour tethering policy that was decried by animal advocates as "useless" and "unenforceable."

 

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