Cat registration may become mandatory under revised bylaw
Pass Herald Reporter
A revised Animal Control bylaw will be brought forward for first reading on March 25th’s regular council meeting and Director of Protective and Community Services Albert Headrick says it’s time the Municipality addresses some of the concerns that have been in the community for years.
“We’ve had problems here [regarding cats in the community] and we are trying to address them,” said Headrick, adding that the current Animal Control bylaw does not address some important aspects of animal care and control, specifically regarding cats.
Another reason for the revised bylaw is to correspond and work with the Pound Keepers Agreement the Municipality has with the Crowsnest Pass SPCA.
The Pound Keepers Agreement is an agreement between the Municipality and the SPCA to clearly establish the roles and responsibilities between the two parties.
Headkrick explained that a portion building in which the SPCA operates under belongs to the Municipality and there has been some confusion of what the expectations of the SPCA are. “The SPCA has been operating here in the Pass for many years, and they are doing a great job,” said Headrick. “But there is some confusion in regards to the roles of the SPCA and the roles of the Municipality.”
In 2012, Community Peace Officer assumed the animal control responsibilities of the former Animal Control Officer, after the contract position of the Animal Control Officer expired and was not renewed by the Municipality. .
“What we want to do is come up with a more formalized agreement of the expectations the SPCA has for the Municipality and vise-versa, in addition to what the general public wants as well,” Headrick said.
The Pound Keepers Agreement will help formalize these expectations.
“We figure that with a Pound Service Agreement and the revised bylaw, we will provide a lot of clarity and direction, and there won’t be any grey areas.”
The major revision that will be made on the Animal Control Bylaw will be registering of cats. The registration of cats in Crowsnest Pass will help aid Community Peace Officers with identifying lost felines and help them in bringing the lost animals back to where they belong.
There will be no fee for the registration.
“What we are trying to do is provide a tag for cats that gives a number that can be called to return the cat if it were to get lost,” Headrick explained. “It will be on our database and from there, all we will have to do is go on our database and retrieve the information of where the cats belongs, eliminating the step of bringing the cat to the pound.”
There is currently a charge to pick up lost cats from the SPCA.
“This program is put in place to help aid and assist the cat first,” said Headrick. “We want to make the system better.”
Headrick said once the revised Animal Control bylaw is passed by council, which is expected to happen sometime in April, then mechanisms can be put into place and revisions can be done.