Guysborough considers changes to dog control by-law

GUYSBOROUGH: Councillors have asked municipal staff to change the existing Dog Control By-law, following an incident in Canso.

During a meeting of council for the Municipality of the District of Guysborough on July 4, a motion was passed to have municipal staff revise and draft a new Dog Control By-law to remove references to specific breeds of dog, like Rottweilers and Pit Bull Terriers. The staff would then submit the new draft to council for review.

“We want staff to do an investigation to see what other jurisdictions are doing in regards to banned breeds or whatever,” Guysborough Warden Vernon Pitts explained. “We’re looking at a change in our by-law, whether it’s going to be positive or negative, I don’t know. We’ll have to do our due diligence and see what staff presents to council.”

Guysborough CAO Barry Carroll said in the existing Dog Control By-law, there are restrictions on certain breeds and the last time the by-law was revisited was in 2004.

The decision was reached after an incident in Canso two weeks ago when the Guysborough Department of Public Works seized a Pit Bull Terrier from a family in Canso.

After finding out about the incident, Pitts contacted Guysborough’s Chief Administrative Officer and the Director of Public Works and asked that the issue be placed on the agenda for last week’s meeting.

“I was made aware of it, and due to certain circumstances, first and foremost, I made sure that the dog was safe,” Pitts noted. “I didn’t want the dog disposed of or homed elsewhere…

“The family is well aware of what we’re doing and they’re comfortable with it. I didn’t want them worrying over the long weekend that the dog was going to be put down or destroyed.”

The warden expects the draft of the new by-law will be available to council by September.