Regional district, SPCA follow 1981 bylaw to deal with problem animals

The Comox Valley Regional District's Bylaw 100 primarily protects the safety and well-being of the public.

CHUM AND CHAMP are at the Comox Valley SPCA on the canine equivalent of Death Row.

CHUM AND CHAMP are at the Comox Valley SPCA on the canine equivalent of Death Row.

It’s in place to protect animals from themselves, but the Comox Valley Regional District’s Bylaw 100 primarily protects the safety and well-being of the public.

Derald Lewis, manager of bylaw compliance and special investigations for the Comox Valley Regional District, explained the Impounding and Licensing of Animals Bylaw is not to seize pets away from their owners, but to regulate the licensing, noise and danger of pets.

“We deal primarily with dogs, but the bylaw (created in 1981) does cover any dog, cat, or other pet,” Lewis noted, who added the CVRD has a contract with the Comox Valley SPCA to look after animal control as well as provide a facility for animals.

The bylaw was redrafted in 2010, and Lewis said any complaint filed must be written via e-mail or by filling out a bylaw complaint form, and they are directly referred to the SPCA.

“The CVRD oversees the contract and might be involved to assist or take over the file if required,” he added.

Lewis said there is a process in place prior to seizing an animal, which involves warnings, ticketing and an investigation. He added there have been very few times — maybe two — when the CVRD has proceeded to a court hearing to apply for an application to destroy a dangerous dog.

“We search for a resolution in between the owner (and complainant). Usually there is a lot of history, and not necessarily with the dog. But the bottom line is to protect the public and animals’ safety.”

He explained a dog is deemed dangerous when it has killed or injured a person or another animal while on public or private property, or if an animal control officer has concerns and is likely to believe the animal is likely to kill or injure.

“(The bylaw) is in place for the safety of the public, and the safety of other dogs and pets. We want to ensure the well-being and safety of the public no matter what,” Lewis said.

If a complaint escalates to a point where the SPCA requires the assistance of a bylaw officer, Lewis noted an investigation is launched, and more then just the complainant and owner of the animal in question are involved.

“We go to more than just two people (when investigating an incident). We go to the neighbours, go to the vets, we find out the history of the animal, and to the SPCA.

“It’s not one specific incident. We don’t take action unless the evidence is there,” he said.

Lewis said his job and those of other animal control officers at an investigation is to collect evidence to present to a judge if an application to destroy an animal is required, and allow the judge to make a decision based on the information collected.

“(For many people) animals are their life, and it’s a great thing. But when they are threatening the safety of people and the public, it becomes a concern. It’s the owners’ responsibility to look after their pets in a proper manner, so no animal or person gets injured.”

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Mark Henderson’s exhibit, “Bikes and Barbies,” is now showing at Artful : The Gallery on Cumberland Road in Courtenay. Photo supplied.
New exhibit at Courtenay art gallery

Artful : The Gallery is showing art by Mark Henderson until Saturday,… Continue reading

Charles Hawkswell, Commander, of the Cape Lazo Power and Sail Squadron, presents a $1,000 cheque to the Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society. File photo
Comox removing moorage fees, hydro for Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society

Last year, the unit and society responded to more than 50 rescue missions in the past year

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Richard Daniel Vigneault was arrested without incident and faced 16 counts

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

UPDATED: Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Danielle Egilson has been awarded a $40,000 post-secondary scholarship with The Cmolik Foundation. Photo supplied
Student from Courtenay’s Vanier Secondary lands prestigious scholarship

Cmolik Foundation provides opportunities for youth who’ve experienced adversity

While the route to get there is a little different, downtown Courtenay is open and accessible right now. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Bridge — and downtown Courtenay — are open, say businesses

Incoming BIA president Sean Ferguson says parking is available

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Most Read