I think if we were to run a check on the backgrounds of all the members of Sechelt city council, we’d find it unfairly stacked with cat lovers. I can’t think of any other reason for this draconian bylaw that would criminalize dogs who chase squirrels, rats and seagulls:
Sechelt dogs that “without provocation” chase any animal — be it a rat, squirrel, seagull, bear or cougar — would violate a dog licensing and control amendment bylaw that passed three readings at the Dec. 16 council meeting.
The first draft of the bylaw, prepared by District of Sechelt staff, would only have stopped dogs from chasing, biting or attacking domesticated animals. But at committee of the whole Dec. 9, Coun. Keith Thirkell suggested expanding the bylaw to include wild animals and birds as well. Thirkell argued that this would bring it in line with provincial and federal legislation that protects various wild animals, including migratory birds and endangered species.
What’s “provocation”? A dog doesn’t need much provocation to start chasing something — motion of any kind usually does the trick, never mind the spastic little darts and twitches that characterize a rodent on the move. Expecting a dog to hold back under such circumstances is tantamount to animal cruelty. I mean, really… dogs gotta chase.