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General · 3rd January 2014
Robyn Budd
The numbers are in, and Quadrites (dog and non-dog people alike) have weighed in on the issue. The Gumboot posed the query, 'Do we need a bylaw for keeping island dogs leashed?' Here's what you said:
40%: Yes, in public places and our urban parks. (Or would that be 'park'?)
24%: Nope. A few bad dogs (okay, their humans) are the problem.
13%: Heck, no. Just slap a fine on their humans if their dogs do bad things.
11%: Yes, please. I've been attacked by pooches off-leash; wasn't impressed.
7%: No leashes. Period.
5%: Bring on the leashes! My dog's been attacked by leashless K9s, and neither of us were impressed either.
Okay, I'm spicing it up a bit. But the bigger question is, where do we go from here? Now we're mobilizing to fight ferry fares again, and people are busy busy busy. Let's keep an eye on our canine conundrum, though, and see if anyone out there wants to push forward on some real life solutions.
Unlikely to be a simple answer
Comment by Darcy Mitchell on 21st January 2014
During the admittedly short time we've lived on Quadra (not quite 10 years), concern seems to have grown about the 'dog issue'. A few years ago, I started looking into what other rural communities have done about protecting people, pets, wildlife and property from dangerous dogs. And, conversely, protecting straying pets from being lost, stolen, run-over - or killed by predators. We are certainly not the first rural community to face these issues - there are various bylaws out there that could be looked at as possible models. Also, the BC SPCA has developed a model bylaw that can be obtained by local governments for review. I think it's time that the Regional District undertook to consult with Quadra Islanders about the nature and extent of the 'dog issue' and the measures that could be effective to deal with the problem. I'm sure there are a number of people on the Island, including dog owners (and non-dog owners) and those involved with public safety programs, who would be willing to engage in such a process if the RD takes the lead.
Comment by john arnold on 9th January 2014
I have to agree with Paul's comments. It's not the dog so much as the owners.
Comment by Terry Peebles on 9th January 2014
I feel very strongly about the leash issue.NO LEASH LAWS! It is the owner's responsibility, if their dog is aggressive they should be fined. We are an island of about 3000 if the big cities have off leash areas in parks so should we.There are no walks currently that are in the light, by the ocean, not in the woods or road that we are allowed to walk dogs off leash. The only place that meets the above criteria is the Spit.How about off leash times morning and night, if the big city can do it so can we. My personal feeling is that dogs are often responding to their owner's energy.What better way for passive aggressive's to act out then to allow their dogs to do it for them.Fine the owners of agressive, unruly dogs and leave the rest of us alone.I would have responded to the survey if I had known about it.
Comment by Debbie on 5th January 2014
Yes we fight ferry fares frequently. But to say we can't handle the dog issue as well is like a housewife saying I am busy doing laundry and can't handle making supper as well!
Neither issue is going to improve on its own.
Next time around, please suggest the RIGHT poll!
Comment by Robyn Budd on 3rd January 2014
At The Gumboot, we're more than happy to help islanders put together the right forum for their issues. Since a bylaw about leashing dogs was identified as an area of concern by certain islanders, we took the liberty of presenting some issues we were told people were talking about. So next time around, folks, please get in touch with us and we'll walk you through creating your own poll – that way it'll reflect exactly what you had in mind!
Barking up the wrong tree
Comment by Paul Ryan on 3rd January 2014
To my mind, the survey was centered around the wrong question. Leashing dogs will never solve the problem of aggressive behaviour. In fact , dogs are usually more aggressive when they are leashed! The question should have been centered around the responsibility of the dog owner to ensure that his/her dog is well behaved, within sight and under control at all times. This may involve leashing your dog and it may not. If you institute a leash law (like in the city) you are penalizing the well behaved dogs and their owners.
There should be a by-law put in place so that when a dog attacks another dog or person, the owner is held responsible and pays a fine and the dog has it's freedom restricted in a way that is suitable to the "crime"! If the behaviour continues, the owner is fined a LARGE amount and the dog is totally confined or put down. IMHO