Wetaskiwin city council put the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw (2000-21) into effect at the regular Sept. 27, 2021 council meeting following a third and final reading of the bylaw.
The Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw outlines that pet owners in the City of Wetaskiwin will annually have to licence their pets within city limits rather than a one time licensing.
The city states that this structure allows for regular updates to owner contact information and provides officers with a higher change of reuniting animals found at-large with their owners.
The revenue collected from the annual licensing fee will aid in offsetting city departmental expenses related to animal control.
“The changes this bylaw brings will create efficiencies for both city staff and pet owners,” stated Trent Jager, Enforcement Services Sergeant for the City of Wetaskiwin.
Pet owners in the city are grandfathered into the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw and will not need to purchase annual licenses for existing pets, only new ones, if they purchased a lifetime license for their pet prior to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2021.
The bylaw also limits the number of animals permitted per house to four. The city states this will provide officers an additional tool when dealing with animal neglect and nuisance complaints relating to excessive animals within the household. The previous bylaw did not have these supports for dealing with this issue.
Current pet owners who exceed the limit can contact Enforcement Services to obtain an over-limit permit at no cost.
As part of reviewing the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw, Enforcement Services engaged the community through an online survey and met virtually with a local group of animal owners to obtain feedback. The animal control bylaws of nineteen to the Alberta municipalities were also reviewed prior to the city implementing the new bylaw.