Letters: Obey the ‘dog’ bylaw

Resident thinks off-leash dog park contravenes Sooke bylaw

The above-mentioned bylaw is titled Bylaw No 392: Animal Regulations, it makes for interesting reading.

Three sections are worth reading, they are:

Section 37

No owner of a dog shall permit the dog to be running at large in the District unless the dog is kept on a leash, tether or other suitable device, or is under the immediate care and control of a competent person.

This means any dog can run at large anywhere in Sooke at anytime as long as its owner is nearby. That being the case, there is no need to even discuss the need or location for an off-leash dog park unless: “or is under the immediate care and control of a competent person.” is removed from Section 37.

Section 42

No owner of an animal shall permit or cause the animal to cry, howl or bark in or on land in the District except land zoned agricultural if such crying, howling or barking disturbs or is liable to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort, or convenience of individuals or the public.

Park land is not zoned agricultural and if barking, howling or crying is allowed, the district must insure that people living near an off-leash dog park or walking in the proximity of such park are not liable to be disturbed.

Section 44

Where an animal defecates on a highway, public place or lands of any person other than the owner of the animal, the person having care, custody, or control of the animal shall immediately remove the excrement and dispose of it in a sanitary manner.

This would also apply to a dog park.

By the way, failure to comply with the above-mentioned sections of the bylaw carries a fine of $100.00

The District of Sooke has announced a public open house for an off-leash dog park for May 29 at 7 p.m. that does not allow much time to modify sections of the bylaw or to study the bylaw thoroughly and make sure that their proposals are in compliance.

M. Beauchemin

Sooke