How the new pet bylaw has fared in Winnipeg so far

It has been just over a month since the City of Winnipeg introduced the new Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw focused on pet ownership rules as well as feeding wildlife, dog daycares and breeding of cats and dogs.

The city provided an update on the number of calls it has received since the bylaw went into effect on July 1.

Leland Gordon, the general manager of the city’s Animal Services, said so far there have been two complaints of pets being left inside vehicles when it is hotter than 22 degrees Celsius.

“If somebody sees, say a dog in a hot car, take pictures of everything. The vehicle, the licence plate, the dog in the vehicle. Then transmit that to animal services,” said Gordon.

He said the best way to contact animal services is by emailing 311. On top of emailing, he said people should call either the Winnipeg Humane Society or the Winnipeg police non-emergency line. The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service and the Winnipeg Humane Society are the two organizations that attend those calls.

When a call like this comes in, Gordon said animal services can take several enforcement options such as an education approach, a verbal warning or a ticket.

The bylaw also applies to taking dogs on a bike ride, with Gordon saying it’s not allowed when it is over 22 degrees Celsius.

“We don’t want people leaving dogs in their hot cars unattended, we don’t want people out biking with their dogs on hot summer days. The reason is you are placing these dogs at risk.”

He said dogs can die in hot vehicles and when biking they could become exhausted or they could even burn their pads on the hot pavement.

Gordon said they have also received two complaints of people biking with their dogs.

Another change that came into effect was a requirement that dog owners have to supervise their pets while they are outside. Gordon said this doesn’t mean necessarily watching them when they go to the bathroom, but stepping in if something happens.

He said there have been 25 complaints related to this part of the bylaw.

“People cannot leave their dogs outdoors for prolonged periods of times.”

The bylaw also addresses feeding wildlife within city limits. As of July 1, Gordon said no animals are allowed to be fed with the exception of birds.

He said to date, animal services has received 13 complaints.

“That’s everything from deer to racoons to squirrels…the more we feed wildlife, the more accustomed they become to us and the more the population increase and then the more conflict we have.”

Gordon said there has also been one complaint of a rabbit trap being found within city limits.

He said responsible pet owners will have very little interaction with animal services because they are already providing the proper care, adding the bylaw changes were not designed for those who are already responsible for their pets.

More information people can contact 311 or go online.

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