In the Cowichan Valley, the City of Duncan has one of the most progressive bylaws when it comes to animal control.

The bylaws, which are complaint driven, are enforced, in the Cowichan Valley with the exception of Lake Cowichan, by Coastal Animal Services.

In Duncan, the bylaws can be enforced to protect people when a dog is aggressive, barking or unlicensed, but it also contains a number of clauses intended to protect animals.

Those include dogs not being tethered for more than 2 hours in a 24 hour period and dogs being kept outside without an appropriate shelter.

Neither the CVRD nor the Municipality of North Cowichan have similar bylaws.

The BC SPCA’s Senior Animal Protection and Outreach Officer, Erika Paul says having appropriate bylaws at the local level can help the Society do it’s job and bylaw officers can sometimes nip problems in the bud before they become bigger problems……

Paul says if the owner of the dog doesn’t improve the conditions for the animal, the documentation collected from the bylaw officer can help the SPCA develop a case.

Paul is one of the speakers in the line up this weekend when United for a Paws hosts an awareness event at the Duncan Community Lodge from 1 to 3.

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor, Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley and veterinarian John Katzman, of the Provost Veterinary Clinic will also be in attendance and some local municipal leaders have also been invited.

The event is in response to the seizure and subsequent death of Teddy the dog in the Cowichan Valley.

In the meantime, the Cowichan Tribes, the BC SPCA and the RCMP met a week ago to talk about the neglected dog and about solutions to prevent similar incidents.

Chief William Seymour says it is unfortunate what the dog went through.

He’s hoping with greater education on proper treatment and how to identify and report an animal in need of care, cases like this can be prevented in the future.

To that end, Cowichan Tribes with input from the RCMP are working to update their bylaws.

Seymour says Tribes has also committed to work with the SPCA.

The Society has been invited to the community to help educate members of all ages about animal welfare.

One of the ways they’ll do that is by working in the schools and in summer camps to teach children how to be safe around animals and how to identify an animal in distress.