Surrey's new dog bylaw will not only have more teeth to control dangerous dogs, it will also take a bigger bite out of the wallets of those not following the rules.
Surrey is getting ready to pass its new Dog Responsibility Bylaw, which categorizes canines as normal, aggressive, vicious and dangerous.
Surrey has decided not to implement a breed ban as some other cities have.
As expected, with the new bylaw in place, it will get increasingly more expensive for pet owners as their dog climbs the ladder of public risk.
But owners of normal dogs will also have to dig a little deeper if caught with their pets unleashed.
It currently costs owners $200 if their dog is found off-leash in a public area. That fine will be going up to $300 – the same fee levied for an aggressive dog that is at-large.
Jas Rehal, Surrey's manager of bylaw enforcement, said that fine was increased to give owners more incentive to keep their dogs on-leash in public areas.
If your dog is determined to be dangerous, the fine for having your animal off-leash or not wearing a muzzle goes from $500 to $1,000.
The penalty increases each time a dog is given a classification posing a greater public risk.
The fine for having an aggressive dog at-large or unmuzzled is $300. If a dog is determined to be vicious, the cost for those infractions is $450.
An aggressive dog will gain that designation by being combative to a person or another animal without being provoked, or if it has caused a "minor" injury to them.
A vicious dog has caused "serious" injury to a person or animal, or has the tendency to attack without provocation, or it has caused minor injury more than once.
(A minor injury is bruising, scratches or shallow punctures, while a serious one involves deep puncture wounds or broken bones).
A dangerous dog has killed or seriously injured an animal or person, or was previously vicious and has since attacked.
The new bylaw is expected to become law when given final approval next Monday.