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The bark of a dog control bylaw in Area H bitten by public in opinion poll

Tails are wagging in the regional district’s Area H.

The majority of respondents in a recent opinion poll in the Regional District  of Central Kootenay rural area of the Slocan Valley said they were not in favour of implementing a dog control service in the area.

Of the 37.5 per cent of the opinion poll surveys returned, 69.2 per cent of the residents who returned the survey were not in favour of implementing a dog control service.

However, the result of the poll doesn’t make dog conflict issue go away, said Area H director Walter Popoff.

“It’s still there, so I will be taking some action,” he warned.

Popoff will be talking to recreation commissions six and eight to see if they can possibly hold classes in spring about responsible dog ownership.

As well, Popoff is approaching School District No. 8 and 10 trustees to see if they would consider running educational program in elementary schools on dog ownership responsibilities.

“Hopefully, with that it will make people more aware that we do have a dog conflict issue and it’s the owners’ responsibility to address those issues,” he said.

If the approach works, Popoff said the area could be a model for dog control in the entire regional district.

Dawn Attorp, RDCK general manager of corporate communications, said the next step is for the RDCK board of directors to receive the poll report at its meeting on Nov. 24.

“From there, the area director (Walter Popoff) will make a decision as to whether or not to proceed with implementing and enforcing a dog regulatory bylaw, or taking other actions to reduce the dog conflict issues in electoral Area H,” she said in a news release.

In August, the RDCK undertook a non-binding opinion poll in Area H (Slocan Valley) to gauge the community’s interest in having a bylaw to regulate the keeping of dogs.

The survey correspondence sent to people in the area included a question: Would you like to see a dog control service in Electoral Area H?; a cost estimate for the service and a sample bylaw.

In April, a second dog attack happened in Winlaw, prompting the regional district director to seek the public’s opinion on a dog control service.

A man walking on Paradise Valley Road was bitten numerous times by five dogs in an attempt to break up an attack on his Jack Russell dog. The man sustained several puncture wounds and was treated in hospital in Nelson but none were considered serious.

Earlier that month a German Shepherd and pit bull attacked and killed an alpaca in Winlaw after breaking into the area where it was kept.