A new watchdog
The Spots and Rovers of West Vancouver now have their own bylaw enforcement officer.
Last week, council voted to allocate $42,000 to employ a temporary bylaw officer on a six-month trial period to increase compliance with the district’s dog regulations.
Last year, the municipality’s bylaw department received 463 dog-related calls — complaints about everything from unlicensed dogs to owners failing to pick up after their pets.
The district currently employs five bylaw officers to enforce West Van’s bylaws, including animal control. Council recently approved a policy that bylaw officers work to promote awareness about being respectful dog owners and enforcing the municipality’s doggie laws. But the bylaw officers say they’re too busy to do this, stated in a report to council.
The hiring of an officer is a proactive approach to balancing the desires of responsible dog owners and citizens who are less comfortable with man’s best friends.
The new bylaw officer will educate dog owners on West Van’s on-leash park policies and hand out free poo-bag holders that attach onto dog’s leashes. Fines for having ones dog off leash in an on leash area can run as high as $135.
At the end of the trial, staff will include a comparison of calls for service related to dog control before and after the pilot program. From there, council will decided on whether to continue the program.