Peeved over dog control

A Silver Creek resident says his pleas for dog control are being ignored.

Columbia Shuswap Regional District officials, however, say they have heard him loud and clear – more than once – but without substantial community support, there won’t be any action.

In a recent letter to the CSRD, Rick Shea says the regional district appears to be “willfully neglecting” a very serious problem, concerning dogs “running livestock, running loose through gardens destroying food, defecating on others’ lawns, howling through the day and night, running fences aggressively and repeatedly scaring livestock and people – in short, doing all the things that inevitably lead to dog control bylaws in civilized communities.”

Shea also takes issue with the fact that some areas of the regional district do have dog-control bylaws and asks why this “piecemeal” approach is not replaced with a region-wide bylaw.

Just as each municipality deals with dog control, so too does each electoral area of the vast regional district. And all related costs are borne by the taxpayers

Area D Falkland/Silver Creek/Ranchero director René Talbot says he has received six or eight letters from Shea, responding to the first one by email.

Talbot advised Shea that residents who attended community meetings in Silver Creek and Falkland in 2012 were very vocal in their opposition

“The Silver Creek meeting was well-attended, even the firemen in Silver Creek were having a meeting and they all came to the hall,” he said. “In the past four years, I have had two complaints and one of them has been from him.”

Talbot says Ranchero has dog control because residents voted to pay for the service through their taxes: approximately $20 per household per year, followed by licensing to the tune of $15 if the dog is spayed or neutered, $50 a year if it’s not, and a kennel classification and $200 for more than two dogs.

“With all these costs, are people willing to pay it?” he asks, suggesting Shea start a petition, including names and addresses that can be verified of 100 to 150 signatories, inform petitioners of the costs involved and take it to a community association meeting in Silver Creek to see if they are interested in supporting it.

“If there’s support in the community, I would be happy to take it to the board for approval of a referendum,” said Talbot.

The cost of a referendum is $7,000, which would also come out of taxpayers’ pockets.

In a July 17 letter to Shea, Gary Holte, interim team leader for CSRD’s Community Service, outlined detailed information for Shea to pursue the matter and noted that while solid waste, recycling and emergency services are delivered on a region-wide basis,  legislation from the province does not support a region-wide dog control service.

“The authority from the province to provide dog control service within the regional district (excluding municipalities) is the Local Government Act and the authority to provide dog control service within the municipalities is the Community Charter,” he wrote.


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