Pet abandonment bylaw enacted in the town

By Karen Fallon

Council agreed to enact a pet abandonment by-law for the Town of Amherstburg after the issue had been brought forward earlier by Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland.

This noted Sutherland at an previous meeting would help guard against people just dropping off their unwanted animals within the town

“The town of Essex took the bull by the horns and introduced the by-law,” said Sutherland at the June 27 council meeting. He went on to note that often times abandoned animals are hit by cars or die from starvation after being dumped.

The Town of Essex introduced such a bylaw making it a finable offense for people to discarded animals in this way. Its by-law states that those witnessing a violation of the bylaw can use a license plate number and vehicle description to report those seen dumping animals.

The fine for abandoning or disposing of an animal can be upwards of $500.

Brenda M. Percy, manager, council & legislative services/clerk says that the Essex’s animal by-law was sent to the Amherstburg’s solicitor, the Chief of Police, and the Community Standards Officer for comment on the feasibility of implementing a similar local by-law.

In response the town solicitor suggested some minor language modifications to the Essex By-law regarding the liability of vehicle owners and reporting provisions, which were adopted into Amherstburg’s bylaw.

“The Police Chief is in agreement with the wording changes and noted that a successful prosecution will depend on a number of things including witness testimony,” notes Percy in a report to council.

“The Community Standards Officer advised that the By-law is similar to other municipal By-laws (i.e. noise, illegal dumping and dog bites) and in order to enforce the By-law would require credible and reliable evidence and witness accounts and results in a significant amount of investigation time to lay a charge,” she added.

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