Alberton has no solution to problem of dogs at large

FORT FRANCES—Although there’s a by-law within the Township of Alberton prohibiting dogs from running at large, council admitted at last Wednesday’s regular meeting that it doesn’t have a solution to the problem.
Coun. Louis Collier spoke on the issue, noting some residents don’t want these animals at home so they don’t tie them up, thus allowing the dogs to run throughout the township.
He indicated it’s an issue council should be involved in.
“There was a situation where a resident took in a stray dog and they tried to get ‘Friends of Animals’ to take it, but they were full,” Coun. Collier explained. “It wasn’t trained to stay around and it roamed along the highway.
“There should be a point allowed where they can ask the municipality for help,” he stressed.
Coun. Collier added the owner of the animal often is not known, so it’s impossible to lay the blame and responsibility on them.
“I think if someone tries everything within their power to help in the situation, we should set a reasonable time limit where the municipality will take the animal to the vet and have it put down,” he remarked.
“These people really cared and were put in a predicament.”
But Coun. Doug Mitchell said due to regulations surrounding caging and housing nuisance dogs, it’s too much for the township to take on.
“We’d have to have a dog catcher, but we can’t pay for that,” he remarked, adding there’s been dogs around his home but he doesn’t try to care for them.
“The minute you touch them, they stay around,” he added.
Alberton Reeve Mike Hammond said unless the dogs cause an accident and the issue becomes a police matter, the animals are just a nuisance.
“We can’t really do anything about it,” he indicated.
Earlier this year, a couple of residents also addressed Alberton council about dogs running at large—complaining the animals often jump all over people passing by.
But without a bylaw enforcePlease see “Alberton,” B6
ment officer to invoke the regulation, the only action taken was sending letters to the owners of the nuisance dogs indicating the bylaw and their responsibilities.
And with some owners unknown, council has no other solutions.
“We’ve had this problem before,” Coun. Mitchell noted. “The owners don’t care—they don’t even look for their dogs.”
Also at last Wednesday night’s meeting, Alberton council:
•approved eight individuals to receive reimbursement under the township’s Non-Resident Library Fee Reimbursement Program;
•discussed the rental of the grader garage;
•offered support to the Township of Admaston/Bromley regarding review and revision of the Ontario Disaster Relief Program;
•proclaimed Oct. 16-22 as “Citizenship Week” in Alberton;
•reviewed a letter from the OPP providing the draft Marijuana Grow Operation Protocol Agreement; and
•agreed to support the Ontario Forestry Coalition regarding industry energy costs.
Alberton’s next regular council meeting is slated for Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at the municipal office.
(Fort Frances Times)

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