Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Town drops plans for dog policy review

By Chris Simon, Innisfil Scope

Innisfil staff have ditched plans to review the town's dangerous dog regulations.
Town clerk and legal services director Jason Reynar recommended a review of the policy be halted, during a meeting last week. Alcona resident Diane Sykes called for the review several months ago, after her dog Teddy sustained three broken ribs and a punctured lung. The incident occurred while Sykes was taking the dog for a walk along Adullam Avenue, about one block from her home. She noticed an unleashed and unmanned dog, described as having 'pit bull' characteristics, approaching. The animal started charging in Sykes' direction, and attacked Teddy.
The 'pit bull' was eventually voluntarily euthanized by its owners. Those owners have been charged as a result of the attack, with a pre-trial date set for Oct. 4.
"Sykes informed staff that South Simcoe Police laid charges against the attacking dog's owners," said Reynar, in a report to council. "This matter is proceeding to resolution and staff do not recommend taking any action at this time."
Innisfil already has one of the most strict animal control bylaws in the province. Once a dangerous dog is designated, it must be implanted with a microchip for identification, be spayed or neutered,
muzzled in public places, and restrained with a maximum targeting driving one-metre leash. Owners must also post warnings on their properties, and secure the dogs with strict enclosure requirements. Owners can be charged, if found in violation of bylaws, with punishment including ownership bans, fines, a maximum six month imprisonment, or the euthanizing of the animal, said Reynar.
"Council directed that staff contact the police regarding the attack, and conduct a review of the licencing process to ensure that there are policies in place to deal with owners of dangerous dogs. As a result of a request from Sykes to postpone the report on the status of the police investigation, staff delayed it until now."

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