Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Animal bylaws clarified

In response to a recent online petition requesting revised bylaws for cats and dogs impounded by the Town of Fort Frances, the town bylaw enforcement department has clarified its rules and regulations, including the fact it does not sell animals to research facilities.
Local non-profit animal rescue, “Whiskers and Tails Animal Rescue,” has an online petition at change.org, which had 226 supporters as of press time today.

The petition said the group is “ready, willing, and able to assist the Town of Fort Frances and surrounding areas with all stray, loose, lost, or recovered and impounded cats and dogs.”
As such, the petition is requesting the town work with, and alongside, animal rescues for the betterment of all concerned by:
•allowing the animal rescues to aid in all found, surrendered, or rescued animals;
•having the ability and obtain pictures of said animals to help find the animal’s owners; and
•if not found, allowing the animal rescue to take the animal into care with no cost after a set time to try to re-home the animal.
The petition also asks that if an animal is going to be put down or sold to animal science, that the animal rescues be notified immediately before such action takes place, and allow the animal rescue to take the animals, at no cost, into care.
The group also has requested that the Town of Fort Frances take into consideration changing any bylaw that allows any animal to be sold or given to animal science and protect the animals from animal research, as communities such as Toronto, Brampton, Clarington, Winnipeg, and Calgary have done.
In a press release issued yesterday, bylaw enforcement officer Patrick Briere said the town maintains and operates an animal pound at 900 Wright Ave., which can house up to 10 animals at any time.
This pound is operated and maintained as mandated by The Animals for Research Act R.S.O. 1990, Chapter A.22.
“The Ministry of
Agriculture and Food is the regulatory agency that inspects our pound on an annual basis,” Briere noted.
“These inspection reports ensure that the officers are
treating all animals humanely and that the pound is in good working order.
“The town has not at anytime sold any animal to a research facility,” he added.
Briere said this morning that the town has had “an excellent long-standing working relationship with the Nor-West Animal Clinic, and will continue to work alongside our current partners for the long-term to ensure the health and welfare of all of our animals within our community.”
“This relationship allows for the town to have a connection with people throughout the Rainy River District who would be potentially looking to adopt an animal,” he noted.
Briere stressed the first goal is to ensure that “every animal that is adoptable be adopted.”
“Our partnership has allowed for a special rate program to be implemented to anyone who adopts an animal from the town pound,” he remarked.
“Unfortunately, though, some animals are considered wild and unadoptable, and those animals are not safe for the town to place into someone’s home for safety reasons,” Briere conceded.
He added the percentage of these types of unadoptable animals is very low.
The town will continue to work with its current partners and look to build and create new relationships with animal groups that have proper registration and licensing to operate as a rescue group, he mentioned.
The town also has cat and dog bylaws that are in place to ensure that animals are licensed and leashed, and to prevent stray or running at large animals within town limits.
These bylaws do not regulate the animal pound.
Anyone with questions should contact the bylaw enforcement department at 274-5323.

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