72-hour animal destruction policy only a housekeeping concern

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
August 31st, 2013

A local citizen’s group may be shouting at the rain in trying to change Castlegar’s 72-hour animal euthanasia policy despite their excellent intentions, according to city councillor Deb McIntosh.

“It’s what’s written in the bylaw, but it’s not what we do,” she said, referring to Section 22 of Bylaw 572 (Animal Control and Licensing), which says, “Where a licenced dog is impounded, it shall not be sold or destroyed without first delivering a notice to the owner of the dog at the address shown on the licence application. The notice shall state that if the dog is not claimed within 72 hours of the date and time of the impoundment, the dog will be destroyed.”

She said an ad-hoc Facebook group called Citizens for a Castlegar and District No Kill Policy obviously have kind intentions, but in working to address their concerns, she’s learned the real problem is not active policy, but rather an antiquated bylaw.

“The question came up (it was asked by resident Shannon Moldenhauer) at the All Candidates Forum,” she said. “It is what our bylaws say, but it’s not what we do.”

McIntosh said what actually happens is this: dogs are taken to the Trail SPCA, where, if they are not claimed in a reasonable time frame by their owners, they are adopted out. Dogs are only ever euthanized if a veterinarian deems them so sick it’s necessary, or if they are a risk to public safety.

Cats are taken to Kootenay Critters in downtown Castlegar.

“Kootenay Critters gets five dollars a day for seven days to keep the cats,” she said. “After that, Kootenay Critters – on their own dime – finds them homes and keeps them until they can be placed. They should be commended for what they’re doing.

“Over the past four years, only four cats have been destroyed, and it was because they were either sick or too feral to place,” she added.

McIntosh said she plans to bring the issue up at Tuesday’s council meeting, asking to have the bylaw sent to the city’s Planning and Development Committee for revamping, such that it will reflect current policy.

“It really should be that simple,” she said.

The city currently spends less than $30,000 on animal control.

For information on adopting a pet, check out Kootenay Animal Assistance Program on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KootenayAnimalAssistanceProgramSociety?fref=ts or on the Internet at





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