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Surrey adds fines for tied-up dogs

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Tying up your dog for too long can lead to a ticket in Surrey. (REUTERS)

Tying up your dog for too long can lead to a ticket in Surrey. (REUTERS)

Surrey City Hall can now fine those who leave dogs tied up for too long or otherwise fail to properly care for their canine friends up to $500 per offence.

The changes, approved by city council Monday night, mean 12 different offences related to the treatment of dogs that could formerly only be pursued through the court system now can be administratively penalized through tickets.

Coun. Bruce Hayne said the old ways were time consuming and resulted in charges sometimes not being approved at all, or being tossed out in court.

Under a municipal ticketing format, undisputed citations — whether tickets are paid or ignored — are considered convictions.

“Now it’s much more cut and dry as far as what is permissible, or more importantly, what is not permissible,” Hayne said Tuesday.

“We felt it was important to strengthen the case and make it very clear that when charges are in place they have an excellent chance of upholding it in the court system.”

B.C. SPCA policy and outreach officer Amy Morris said every municipality should have legislation to allow administrative fines for animal welfare offences.

“The main struggle that we see is even when we recommend charges, the court doesn’t have the capacity to accept all the challenges we recommend,” she said of the SPCA, which cannot ticket under provincial legislation.

“In this case, instances of poor animal treatment can be dealt with much more quickly.”

The bylaw fines cover the cleaniness of drinking water, proper nutrition and sanitation, exercise and vet care, outdoor shelter, choke collars, tethering to objects and unvented confined spaces such as vehicles.

Penalties range from $200 to $500.



Should people be allowed to tie up their dogs for more than 4 hours?

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