This is the article that was published in Sidney's paper. The article keeps saying "New Year"....that is only one month away. I feel the proposed legislation is really bad. My dogs are not CKC registered - they are AKC registered. So if this ridiculous legislation happens to pass, people will be required to pay CKC money to CKC register their dogs to be exempt.
Peninsula News Review, Page 03, 30-Nov-2007
Show dogs won't go under the knife
By Cat George
Bylaw is still just a proposal, municipality says
A proposed spay-and-neuter bylaw for local animals isn’t meant to target registered dog owners, says Val Boswell, the bylaw’s proponent. Rumours had been swirling in the community that the bylaw had already passed first reading and would force local pet owners to start spaying on January 1, which had some dog owners angry and worried. But, as both Boswell and Sandy Bowden, Director of Corporate Services at the district of North Saanich, explained, the bylaw is still just a proposal in its preliminary stages.
“We’re getting calls about show dogs and dogs that are field trial dogs,” said Bowden. “They need to be left intact in order to compete in these activities.” There’s no need for those calling to worry, though, she said. “We’re not even going to look at this [proposed bylaw] until next year.”
Outcry in the community probably began with confusion over the intentions of the proposed bylaw, said Boswell, a belief confirmed by Dawne Deeley, a local dog breeder who shows Karelian bear dogs at an international level.
“I understand that there would be a dispensation for those of us who are registered [owners],” said Deeley. “That wasn’t very clearly indicated at first, and I think that’s what caused a lot of hair-tearing and he-said, she-said.” The wording of the proposed bylaw originally required that dog owners pay $500 for a one-time, 12-month breeding permit, but otherwise would be required to spay and neuter dogs older than six months. “That would make it impossible for me to continue a breeding program,” said Deeley. “It cuts me off at the knees.” A dog competing at the show level is required to be intact (not spayed or neutered) in order to enter competitions.
Boswell said that the wording was simply an error that neglected to add the pertinent information: “If you’re a registered dog owner [with the Canadian Kennel Club], that immediately exempts you,” she said. “People that show dogs are taking very good care of them. Why would be targeting these people? We’re trying to target backyard breeders, puppy mills.”
“I don’t believe anybody is against or reluctant to see regulations brought in to control the feral cat population,” Deeley said. “And no dog person wants to promote or support puppy mill situations.” There would, however, need to be some fine-tuning of the bylaw wording before it passes, she said. “When you’re talking dog law, you can’t be kneejerk,” she said.
At her home in North Saanich, Deeley has a specialized set-up for her dogs and full-time staff to help her care for them. Every time she sells one of the black-and-white dogs as a pet, rather than a show dog, she has the purchasers sign a binding agreement that has them spay or neuter the dogs at eight months.
“In a perfect world for me, [the bylaw] would see pet stores stop selling live animals, cats and dogs,” she said, explaining that she thinks that pet stores don’t have the resources to investigate the dog’s new home and keep track of what happens with the animals. “A pet store satisfies a quick fix or impulse,” she said. “After that, too bad, so sad.”
Talks between all the interest groups has opened up as a result of the misunderstanding.
“There does seem to be quite a bit of open discussion,” Deeley said. “People on both sides are willing to sit down and say, ‘here’s what needs addressing.’”
Boswell said that she is working to spread more information about the proposed bylaw, including through the Canadian Kennel Club. “This bylaw is a proposal only,” she said. “It won’t happen overnight.” In fact, although Boswell, a Brentwood Bay resident, is hoping to bring the entire CRD on-board with the bylaw, she and the proposal’s other proponent, Eileen Thomson, have so far only visited four municipalities: North Saanich, View Royal, Sooke, and Esquimalt. They have appointments to make presentations in Metchosin, Colwood, and possibly Sidney and Saanich. “We’re two old women trying to tackle 13 municipalities,” Boswell said. “All we’re trying to do is alleviate the misery out there, mostly to do with cats, abandoned and unwanted. We’re not trying to antagonize dog breeders or the veterinary community.” She said she was willing to meet with any local kennel clubs who had questions about what she and Thomson are working towards.
In North Saanich, Bowden said district staff will be researching the proposal thoroughly and coming up with a number of possible options for council to consider, a step which will probably take place in the new year.
Copyright 2007 sidney