Canines & Felines - Are you responsible?
Published September 21, 2005
One issue that comes to the fore on a number of occasions is the control, or lack of control, of pets, both cats and dogs. Presently, dogs are governed by Strathcona County Bylaw 45-2002. It may be reviewed on the web site at www.strathcona.ab.ca under Bylaws.
Dogs off leash in a location that is not designated off-leash, barking dogs and owners failing to clean up after their dogs are the most common concerns raised regarding dogs.
There is no cat bylaw, nor is there one contemplated. Nevertheless, you would be surprised at the number of concerns that are raised regarding cats running at large and causing great inconvenience and mess. I know I personally experience that on a regular basis, with a cat using my flower box as a litter box. I do not own a cat, nor do I have anything against cats; in fact I like cats. They are seen as warm and fuzzy animals that wander about harmlessly.
Essentially, cats are harmless to people, yet it is in their wanderings where they cause problems. They are allowed to wander in a manner that shows no respect for property, either boundaries or objects. I fully concede that it is a right of anyone to own cats, yet for some reason some cat owners let them run free in their neighbourhood.
The issue at point here is that all pet owners have a responsibility to their neighbours and to the community. Dog owners, who do not, should respect signs indicating that the area is not an off-leash area and should be polite enough to pick up after their animal. There are many people that have a fear of dogs and to have your dog bounding about in a park can and does intimidate some people. Also, leaving behind your animals droppings causes a litter problem and could possibly cause a health problem. I would respectfully encourage cat owners to be sensitive to your neighbours' feelings and concerns and ask that you consider not letting your cats wander around the neighbourhood.
In the end, the whole issue boils down to being a good neighbour and a responsible citizen. By and large most pet owners are responsible. To those responsible people, I thank you for your courtesy. If though, you find that this message speaks to you, I would respectfully ask that you consider the existing laws and, most of all, the feelings and needs of your neighbours and fellow citizens.
Councillor, Ward 4
Last updated: Wednesday, March 24, 2010
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