City council will vote Tuesday on a bylaw that would lift restrictions on the number of pets people can own, provided each animal is spayed or neutered.
The changes are part of a sweeping overhaul of animal control services, which includes the city taking over responsibility from the private sector. It emphasizes responsible pet ownership and a low-kill service philosophy, says a staff report on the new rules.
“City of Greater Sudbury staff hosted a public input session on June 16, 2016, where it was noted that 100 per cent of attendees wanted the city to include responsible pet ownership (RPO) provisions in a new bylaw,” the report says.
“Further, working alongside a number of community pet groups and attendance at monthly group meetings, CGS staff has had an ability to fully understand the needs of the pet community and hope to align aspects of the bylaw with these. Finally, so as to ensure the bylaw aligns with best practices, CGS staff have consulted with numerous municipalities including Barrie, Chatham-Kent, Hamilton, London, Stratford, Toronto, Vaughan and Calgary all of whom have RPO provisions.”
While it will still be illegal to allow stray cats to roam, owners with spayed or neutered cats with microchips can get a license to roam “subject to reasonable supervision,” the report says.
“The bylaw has retained language regarding nuisance cats, and oblige owners to ensure their cats are not creating a nuisance to neighbours by way of property damage, noise, etc.”
Provisions for people who foster stray animals have also been included. Residents with pets that haven't been spayed or neutered will be limited to owning two cats and two dogs.
Owners will be able to buy one year, three year or lifetime tags for their pets.
Several fees are being increased, as well, with an eye toward raising an additional $75,000, in addition to the $50,000 the city expects to raise through fee revenue.
For example, the cost of boarding an animal will increase to $27 from $10; a one-year license will cost $40, rather than $30. Residents who spay or neuter their pets would pay $25, up from $15.
When bylaw officers are called in to act because someone is breaking the rules, the report says city council has already established a user fee of $60 per hour.