Nanaimo residents can weigh in on the new Animal Responsibility Bylaw.

Following an Animal Control Service Review, a bylaw amendment focusing on the importance of responsible pet ownership was recommended.

The recommended provisions follow:

  • removing reference to “Restricted Dogs” since it is no longer best practice (and not practicable) to target;
  • changing “Vicious Dog” to “Aggressive Dog”;
  • modernizing sections to reflect current best practices on standards of care;
  • requiring every owner of a cat to provide the cat with identification;
  • requiring every cat that is permitted to go outside be spayed or neutered; and
  • prohibiting cats to be at large in a public place or on another person’s property, unless it is under the immediate charge and control of the owner or other person responsible for the animal. Please note: under this provision, cats would still be allowed to be outdoors on the owner’s property.

Following the drafting of the bylaw, staff reached out to stakeholder organizations impacted by the bylaw for their feedback. Once suggestions were tabulated and feedback was added, it was forwarded to the Municipal Solicitor for review. The bylaw was presented to Nanaimo Council for feedback on November 9.

At the November 16 meeting, Council passed a resolution delaying readings of the new Animal Responsibility Bylaw in the interest of obtaining public engagement.

The deadline to submit your feedback is December 11. Following that date, feedback will be compiled and submitted as part of a report to Council in early January for their consideration.

“Citizens are invited to provide their feedback now through December 11. We recommend that you review the frequently asked questions and read through the information and links posted to the Animal Responsibility Bylaw feedback page on Get Involved Nanaimo to get a comprehensive understanding of the bylaw,” said Deputy City Clerk, Karen Robertson.

To learn about the bylaw, ask questions, and submit feedback click here.