Council on Monday adopted Bylaw 469, the new Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw, which encourages pet owners to register their cats and dogs with the City, have them spayed or neutered, and identified so that lost pets can be returned to their owners.

The City has consolidated several existing bylaws into one bylaw dealing with animal control in Lacombe. Residents will be able to find information about all regulated animals – dogs, cats, urban hens and livestock including bees in one location.

Bylaw 469 is effective immediately.

Diane Piche, Corporate Services Director says they decided it was easiest to do it this way, "we decided to take it out of the animal nuisance bylaw and put it into the responsible animal ownership bylaw."

"Since the last reading, tattooing was taken out of the definition of identification, before we had microchipping and tattooing, but the council felt it was not a reasonable form of identification."

When an animal running at large is located, Bylaw Enforcement staff will be able to scan it for a microchip, which will display an identification number that they can be used to contact the owner.

"We also clarified that licenses cannot be transferred from one animal to another." 

This new bylaw also provides for a one-time licence that is valid for the lifetime of the animal, rather than requiring an annual renewal.

The only exception is if an animal is declared to be a nuisance or vicious.

"We have allowed dogs to swim in waterbody's, that was actually in one of our past bylaws but we felt that was a little outdated because dogs love to swim."

Paid 2019 dog licences will be transferred to lifetime licenses as long as the owner can provide proof of altering and microchip identification on the animal.

If no proof can be provided, but the dog has been altered and/or microchipped, the owner may attest to this in front of a Commissioner of Oaths provided by the municipality at City Hall.

This process will also apply to cats.

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