Fact: the City of Dawson Creek has bylaws concerning cats.
Now when you tell someone who does not live in the Peace Region this would usually end the conversation with a chuckle as these types of detailed bylaws are fairly new across the Province. But if you did not already know, I want to explain to you why it works and how beneficial it is for our community.
The cat bylaws were amended in 2015 to include changes made to address the domestic cat issues. What are the issues?
1) Cats running at large.
2) Cats causing property damage.
3) Cats sustaining injuries to themselves, other cats, and sometimes people.
4) Unwanted breeding.
These are the “on the surface” issues we face, in addition where secondary issues arise which all have a direct financial burden to all members of society include;
A) Wild bird populations are drastically affected by roaming cats.
B) Spread of disease.
C) Urine spraying, both male and female causes irrevocable damage to private property specifically wood treatments.
D) Vegetable and flower gardens ruined due to feces and digging.
E) Digging burrows under vehicles, RV’s, porches, sheds, and houses.
F) Injuries by getting hit on the roadway, fighting with other cats.
G) Unpaid vet bills or the animal may not receive care because of this.
H) Become victims to animal attacks.
I) Uncontrolled breeding and giving birth in ureachable areas.
Now these examples are directed to in town living, I like most people have grown up with cats being able to roam the farm. Right there is the difference, in town living is quite different where bylaws are written for a reason. It’s for the fairness of all city property owners.
There is a massive overpopulation of domestic cats across Canada. Since 2015 there has been a dramatic drop in population within the city district of Dawson Creek along with the great work from the South Peace SPCA.
Branch manager Wendy Davis has stated compliance with licensing cats is currently higher than dog owners. Along with licensing a owner is given a discount when an animal that is spayed or neutered, for cats that fee is $5 per year.
Domestic cats can live full, healthy, and happy indoor lives when measures are taken by responsible pet owners to ensure they have what they need. There are many options where DIY catios are an amazing avenue for your cat to be outside unattended and these are becoming on the rise within town limits.
In the last two or so years, within town you can visibly see that there is a decrease in roaming cats thus decreasing all of the issues. This is something as a community we can be proud of!