Animals at Large/Off-Leash Areas
At the Regular Council Meeting of October 2, 2018, Council passed the Animal Control Bylaw #1122. You can view the entire bylaw here, or read below to walk through the new rules for Off-Leash areas and Animals at large.
Animal at Large, and Dogs in Off-Leash Areas
The new bylaw states that the Owner of an Animal shall ensure that such Animal is not At Large. Animals must always remain on a Permitted Leash in Town limits except when on the private Property of the Owner or in “Off-Leash Areas”.
The Owner of an Animal shall ensure that such Animal shall not be left unattended while tethered or tied on premises where the public access will be impeded, whether the access is express or implied, while considering the well-being of the Animal.
The Owner of an Animal left unattended in a motor vehicle shall ensure that:
- The Animal is restrained in a manner that prevents contact between the Animal and any member of the public;
- The Animal has suitable ventilation; and
- The Animal is not left unattended in a motor vehicle if the weather conditions are not suitable for containment of an Animal.
What is an off-leash area?
A number of areas have been declared as "Off-Leash Areas". They are pictured below. It is important to note, however, that these off-leash areas still require that animals be under control. "Under Control" may be determined by an Animal Control Officer using the following criteria:
- a) Whether the Dog is at such a distance from its Owner so as to be incapable of responding to voice, sound or sight commands,
- b) Whether the Dog has responded to voice, sound or sight commands from the Owner,
- c) Whether the Dog has bitten, Attacked, or done any act that injures a person or another Animal,
- d) Whether the Dog chased or otherwise threatened a person, and
- e) Whether the Dog caused damage to Property;
Even in an off-leash area, an animal control officer may order that a Dog be put on a Permitted Leash, and/or Order that a Dog be removed from an Off-Leash Area. An Owner who fails to immediately to restrain a Dog on a Permitted Leash and/or remove a Dog from the Off-Leash Area upon being directed to do so by an Animal Control Officer or upon a Dog engaging in any of the following activities listed in section 20.1 is guilty of an offence. Nothing relating to off-leash areas relieves a person from complying with any other provisions of the animal control Bylaw.
No Dog Areas
The new animal control bylaw mandates that the Owner of a Dog shall ensure that such Dog does not enter or remain:
- Within five (5) meters of a Spray Park or Sports Field;
- Within five (5) meters of a Wading or Swimming Area;
- Within five (5) meters of a Play Structure
- In a Park or a Pathway which has been designated by the Town as an area where Dogs are prohibited; or
- Any other area where Dogs are prohibited by posted signs.
Dogs on Pathways
Dogs are only permitted on pathways if they are secured by a permitted leash, remain on the right hand side of the pathway (unless moving around other path users) and if they remain under the owners control. Every owner of a dog shall ensure that a dog does not sit or stand on a pathway or otherwise obstruct or interfere with path users.