12th and Cambie: Council kills dog bylaw change

Woman ticketed after leaving dog tied up outside store

Vision Vancouver Coun. Raymond Louie has a dog.

So does Vision Coun. Geoff Meggs, although its old, blind and deaf. Vision Coun. Tony Tang has a dog, too. Its a chocolate lab. Its almost like a 65-pound cat, he says.

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And then theres Vision Coun. Kerry Jang, who has a cat, a hamster and a whole bunch of fish.

Not sure if Jang dislikes dogs but he really has serious concerns about marauding goats ransacking homes.

Huh?

Why do I know this? Why do you need to know this?

Good questions.

But thats the kind of information, my fellow taxpayers, you can learn when attending a meeting of your elected officials at city hall. You could say Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr is partly to blame because shes the one who brought forward a motion to look at changing a dog bylaw.

Maybe you heard about the woman who got ticketed by an animal control officer for leaving her dog tied up outside a store while she went inside to shop.

Carr thought that was going too far. So did Miriam Gregory, another woman who got a $250 ticket for tying up her Alaskan Malamute to a bike rack outside Choices market in Kitsilano. That was last October.

I came out from my five-minute trip and there was an animal control officer writing a ticket for me, she told council at its Jan. 31 meeting. She treated me like I was a criminal and all I had done was tie up my dog. I was extremely embarrassed.

Gregory went to city hall because she was still angered about the ticket, which she reluctantly paid. She brought a petition with herwith 124 names on itcalling for the bylaw provision to be scrapped.

Well, that didnt happen.

The majority of council put the kibosh on Carrs motion after they heard from the citys deputy chief licence inspector, Tom Hammel, who estimated fewer than five tickets were issued for the offence last year. Thats five tickets in a city where there are an estimated 100,000 dogs.

Our priority, in terms of enforcement, has to do with off-leash dogs, dogs that are running around, dogs that arent licensed, Hammel said. This provision for tethering is not something that is a high priority for us.

In voting against Carrs motion, councillors Tim Stevenson, Meggs, Jang and Louie all cited concerns about public safety and didnt want to see a child or senior bitten by a dog left tethered outside a store.

And in stating their positions, Meggs resorted to puns.

Heres a taste.

Coun. Carr has unleashed a bit of a controversy but I think theres a danger that well just end up chasing our tails if we go too far down this road.

Groans.

Then it was Jangs turn to start talking goats?

He had read a news story about a goat trapping a woman in her home in Abbotsford and somehow found a parallel between Carrs motion and a marauding goat.

Here we have a case where there was no owner available in order to save this woman, Jang said. She was forced to throw beer bottles at a goat.

That prompted a comment from NPA Coun. George Affleck.

First, I just want to comment on Coun. Jangs reference to comparing a goat to a dog. I think its disrespectfulnot only to dog owners and dogs but also disrespectful to Coun. Carrs motion.

Yes, this all really happened.

As Jang said about the goat story, I cant make this stuff up.

mhowell@vancourier.com

Twitter: @Howellings

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