Kirkland officials studying existing animal bylaw after outrage from residents

Click to play video: 'City of Kirkland updates animal bylaw'
City of Kirkland updates animal bylaw
WATCH: Kirkland is cracking down on stray and unregistered animals. The proposed bylaw gives lost or abandoned animals just a few days to be claimed before they are surrendered to a shelter. As Global's Olivia O'Malley explains, the wording of the bylaw is not sitting well with local residents. – Mar 3, 2020

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly said the City of Kirkland had a proposed bylaw suggesting dogs not claimed from the pound after three days could be put down. In fact, the bylaw in which this language appears has been law since 1966.

The City of Kirkland’s animal bylaw came into question during Monday night’s city council meeting.

While Kirkland director-general Joe Sanalitro told Global News it was brought up to modify the law to comply with the changing provincial restrictions, residents noticed a section of the current bylaw that caused concern.

The legislation states that inspectors are authorized to detain any dog not wearing its identification tag, as well as stray animals.

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After apprehending them, inspectors would then take them to the pound.

The legislation then goes on to state that “if the animal is not claimed after 3 (three) days of board, the animal may be eliminated by euthanasia or left to the responsibility of the pound.”

Kirkland currently has a contract to handle strays with Vaudreuil-Soulanges Animal Control.

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The animal shelter said it keeps abandoned animals for between three and eight days before putting them up for adoption, adding that it never puts down healthy dogs.

“Residents won’t have any concern if their dogs are tagged,” Kirkland Mayor Michel Gibson said.

“If the dog is lost and found by our public security, it will return to the resident,” Gibson added.

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When Kirkland residents learned this about the bylaw suggesting euthanasia as a solution, they decided to voice their displeasure by reaching out to local officials.

Sanalitro said he has been in contact with residents, adding he is studying the potential of revising or updating the text.

Kirkland is one of the few West Island municipalities suggesting euthanasia as an option when dealing with abandoned animals.

The only other municipality is Dollard-des-Ormeaux. The bylaw concerning dogs, cats and other animals states: “If the dog or cat is not claimed within three (3)
days of its impounding, the said dog or cat may be destroyed by euthanasia or the pound may take full responsibility for it.”


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