Christi Wright, a spokeswoman for United for Paws, speaks to North Cowichan’s council on the municipality’s animal bylaws on April 4. (Photo by Robert Barron/Cowichan Valley Citizen)

North Cowichan considers revising animal bylaws after spate of animal cruelty cases

Updated bylaw expected to deal with abuse and neglect

The animal bylaws in North Cowichan are expected to be revised and updated after a staff report is prepared.

Council asked staff to prepare a report at its meeting on April 4 on the municipality’s bylaws pertaining to neglect and cruelty of animals after a delegation from the recently formed United for Paws group spoke.

Spokeswoman Christi Wright said United for Paws would like to see guidelines laid out in a revised bylaw as to what is expected of an animal owner.

“We would like to see that appropriate fines are levied and immediate action taken to ensure that animals suffer as little as possible in North Cowichan,” she said to council.

“We also recommend that education be provided to the public on the proper care for animals.”

North Cowichan Mayor John Lefebure invited United for Paws to make a presentation at the council meeting after the group sponsored a well-attended meeting in Duncan on March 25 to address animal cruelty and neglect in the Cowichan Valley.

The meeting was called after a series of animal cruelty incidents, including the case of Teddy the dog who was neglected so badly that he died soon after being rescued on Feb. 16.

Currently, the City of Duncan is the only jurisdiction in the Cowichan Valley that has bylaws dealing with neglect and cruelty to animals.

“SPCA officials who were at the meeting (on March 25) complimented the City of Duncan for its animal bylaws and I want staff to look at that,” Lefebure said.

Coun. Kate Marsh suggested that the Cowichan Valley Regional District should also be provided with information on the issue.

Lefebure, who is also chairman of the CVRD, said the regional district is considering updating its animal bylaws as well and Wright and United for Paws will be invited to speak to the board.

Cowichan Tribes has also recently announced it is working to update its animal bylaws.

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