News Views: Wagging the dog

Maple Ridge considering new bylaw that would charge pit bull owners a licensing fee four times that for other breeds.

District of Maple Ridge staff are recommending a new animal control bylaw that singles out pit bulls as “aggressive” and would charge their owners a licensing fee four times that for other breeds.

The fee would apply to pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers, or a cross of any of them.

Pit bull owners would be required to pay a $200-a-year “aggressive dog” licensing fee, and require their dogs to be muzzled when off the owner’s property. Pit bulls would also be subject to higher impound fees.

The B.C. SPCA says pit bulls and the like aren’t any more aggressive than other breeds.

Among the breeds most often associated with dog bites, golden retrievers and Chihuahuas are the worst offenders.

Pit bulls are way down the list.

Reality is, more people own golden retrievers than pit bulls, whose bite is feared more than that of a Chihuahua.

And you don’t see poodles guarding grow ops.

But the district is reacting to public concerns about pit bulls, trying to update a bylaw last changed in 1977.

Trouble is, the legislation being proposed punishes responsible dog owners instead of encouraging them, and provides a false sense of security for residents.

By charging a higher fee, some pit bull owners just might not license their dogs – or forgo spaying and neutering and essential vaccinations.

Or, as seen in the U.S., where similar breeds have been banned, problem pet owners just move on to different types.

Studies show breed specific laws don’t increase safety for people and their companion animals.

Any dog with strong jaws and a prey drive needs to be well-managed. The SPCA suggests offering a discount on licenses to pet owners who can prove their dogs have successfully passed obedience school. Requiring all male dogs to be neutered would also help prevent dog bites, as well as help control the size of the dog population.

The bylaw, as it’s proposed, discriminates against a certain breed, and seems a simple, unfair solution to appease fears that may be unfounded. Basically, its says the district doesn’t want these dogs in Maple Ridge, when really what we don’t want is irresponsible dog owners.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

Just Posted

Hundreds attend Hells Angels funeral in Maple Ridge

Body of Chad John Wilson found last month face-down under the Golden Ears Bridge.

Dwillies stepping down from Haney Farmers Market

Maple Ridge senior spends majority of life focused on food

MacDuff’s Call: Respecting Christ as part of Christmas

Tradition of helping people less fortunate is huge part of season.

Wrestlers rally to save Ramblers team

Loss of MRSS annex threatens successful program

Ryder helping others stay dry for holiday season

Raised more than $4,200 to purchase boots and winter gear for people living in poverty in Maple Ridge.

Ridge hospital foundation helps with mental health

Donates a possible $500k for youth wellness

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Gas prices to climb 11 cents overnight in Lower Mainland

Hike of 17 cents in less than 48 hours due to unexpected shutdown of Washington state pipeline

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

37% of Metro Vancouver sees real estate industry as ‘extremely corrupt’

Report comes as the B.C. government continues to probe alleged links of money laundering in casinos to real estate

Most Read