No fines issued under CRD's dog poop bylaw since 2014
(Pioneer Press, John Doman)
It appears some irresponsible dog owners in the Capital Regional District haven’t been picking up poop – or tickets.
According to the CRD Bylaw and Animal Care Services, it has been more than four years since anyone has received a CRD-issued fine for not picking up after their dog.
Since 2014, Animal Control Officers have issued nearly 70 warnings for the irresponsible behaviour but zero tickets.
The CRD team which consists of three officers working 24 hours, three days a week, patrols Sidney, Central Saanich, North Saanich, Colwood, View Royal, Langford, Metchosin, Highlands, Sooke, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, and the Southern Gulf Islands and Salt Spring Island.
Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt and Saanich are monitored by separate animal control officers.
The fine for not picking up after your pet varies between $50 to $100.
The animal control bylaws also vary depending on municipality.
According to Coral Henderson, the administration coordinator for CRD Bylaw and Animal Care Services, animal control officers are not able to issue fines to dog owners who fail to pick up their dog’s feces in Highlands, Metchosin, and North Saanich because of existing municipality bylaws.
They are, however, able to issue fines to anyone in their jurisdiction whose animals are kept in unsanitary pens.
Since 2014, the breakdown for warnings issued in the CRD to dog owners not picking up after their pets breaks down as follows:
- Langford: 25
- Central Saanich: 1
- Colwood: 10
- Sidney: 2
- Sooke: 2
- Sooke: 20
- View Royal: 11
According to Henderson, part of the difficulty in issuing tickets is having sufficient evidence. In order for an Animal Control Officer to issue a fine, the officer needs to see the dog owner fail to pick up after the pet.
Even if they don’t witness it, Henderson says CRD officers follow up with every complaint they receive, as long as they are able to determine where the pet owner lives.
CRD officers do issue fines to dog owners. The most common offences are for dogs being at large, not having a proper license and for being noisy.