Mission dog licence rules under review

Fees collected from licences are used to fund animal control department, said councillor

One Mission resident wants to see an end to dog licence fees for rural property owners.

Mission council is reviewing the district’s dog licence regulations after a complaint about the fees.

Darryl Singbeil told council last Tuesday night that as a rural resident, he doesn’t receive many district services, yet animal control comes around annually requiring him to purchase a licence.

We don’t have to have licences for cats, horses or bicycles, he reasoned, adding his dogs protect the house, keep bears and coyotes away, and remain on his property.

“If they get on the road, does damage or causes grief, that’s our problem,” said Singbeil, noting he would pay for any damages.

It’s an unfair tax and it should change, he said.

Singbeil suggested rural property owners with at least one acre should not be required to purchase dog licences.

Some councillors sympathized with Singbeil and directed staff to look into it and report back to council.

We need to look at the whole licensing issue, said Coun. Tony Luck, who pointed out he doesn’t need to license his bird, but his mom, who keeps a chihuahua in her purse most of the time, needs to buy one.

After meeting with the animal control officer, Coun. Larry Nundal said there are just as many problems with rural dogs compared to urban pets.

He explained dog licence fees are used to offset the cost of the animal control department, and if that is taken away, the district would have to go to taxpayers for the balance.

Coun. Jenny Stevens pointed out there are at least 10 things she pays taxes on that she doesn’t use.

“We have to look at it from a whole community point of view,” she said.

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