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REPORTING · 27th February 2013
Walter McFarlane
At Kitimat City Council on Monday February 25th, one of the items was animal control bylaw amendments. While Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to discuss the draft changes regarding Animal Control, Mayor Joanne Monaghan suggested Feldhoff wait until the Animal Control Officer was there, because she has some points to make which Council does not know.

Feldhoff still had some questions for the Deputy CAO, Warren Waycheshen, who has been working with the file. Feldhoff wanted to know if the animal was still running loose on Farrow Street. Waycheshen expressed it had been reviewed by both the Bylaw Officer and the Humane Society.

“With Farrow Street, there was a report of a dog running up there. We have not had any issues with any dog running at all since November. Really what we would be looking for, and we’ve done multiple patrols of that area if there’s any dog out there, we would take it,” said Waycheshen.

It was suggested owners who let their dogs roam could be prosecuted through the courts, up to $500 as a disincentive. However, there has not been a breach with the dog. There is nothing else they can do. Since a prosecution takes time, they are working to change the code.

They are proposing to change the bylaws to make a definition of a dangerous dog so they could have the authority to designate a dog dangerous and then impose restrictions on the dog, such as muzzling or secure confinement. If these don’t happen, they can put higher fines.

He pointed out when the staff keep getting called back there, it takes up their staff’s time.

“So as I understand it, the animal, as far as we can tell, is no longer running large,” asked Feldhoff.

He was told yes.

“Is the Mail being delivered?” asked Feldhoff.

He was told no.

“Why?” asked Feldhoff. “Do we have a good response from the post office as to why the mail is not being delivered in spite of the fact that the animal is not running at large?”

Waycheshen told Feldhoff he could not speak on behalf of the Post Office. He was told if mail was to be delivered, the dog would come down to be watched at the facility or ask the Humane Society to patrol as the mail is delivered.

Feldhoff wanted Council to contact the Post Office Formally. Mayor Joanne Monaghan expressed she has contacted the post office but not officially.

Feldhoff wanted to make sure the bylaw had teeth so he wanted to increase the impoundment fees as the dog gets caught. He was told there are fees as high as $1,500 for impoundment. He was told they could make any changes to what has been proposed. He was told some dogs escaped via bad luck.

Feldhoff told Mayor and Council he wants to put in place measures so the post office cannot accuse Council of not doing everything they could. “I want the mail to be delivered on Farrow Street and if it involves capturing dogs which are running loose, so be it. For me, the objective is to get the mail delivered on Farrow Street.”

He said he wants the fifth impoundment in twenty-four months to be $500.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan murmured a statement which was about to change the ballgame.

“But the dog hasn’t been out since November,” said Monaghan.

“I want to go to the Post Office to say, ‘we’ve changed our bylaw. We’re enforcing our bylaw, we haven’t had a problem since November, Get your mail carriers to carry the bloody mail,’” exclaimed Feldhoff.

“When I called the Post Office, they said that if the dog had not been out, however, it was looking through the window at her and that’s why she was…” started Monaghan

“God forbid,” interrupted Feldhoff.

“…unhappy to deliver the mail and that was the answer I got,” concluded the Mayor.

The amendment for $500 and the motion was called and carried.

A new motion was made by Feldhoff to strongly encourage the Post Office to resume mail delivery on Farrow Street. It was called and carried.
Trail cam
Comment by Hard Core on 6th March 2013
Mount a trail cam on a telephone poll to see what the dog does during the daytime when the mail is supposed to be delivered.Then submit it to the RCMP.
Put the blame where it belongs
Comment by Trained dog owner on 1st March 2013
It really amazes me how unsympathetic people are being towards the postal workers. Why aren't people verbally attacking the dogs owner who is being uncooperative. Thats the reason your mail stopped being delivered in the first place. Do you really think the carriers like running with there bags filed with your mail from said dog when he chases them. Just because he is contained now does not mean he wont get out again. This dog has repeatedly gotten out and chased the mail carriers. If the owner was cooperative and insured the dogs inability to escape by crate train the dog while they are not home this wouldn't even be an issue. Put the blame where it belongs and not on the hard working mail carriers who always have a smile on their faces rain or shine.
Dear Janice
Comment by CUPW Kitimat on 1st March 2013
You called the carrier a union bully, to me that sounds like you have no patience for unions, I'm sorry if I misundetstood.
Dear CUPW Kitimat:
Comment by Janice Robinson on 1st March 2013
Nowhere in my comment did I say I hate unions.
Dear Janice
Comment by CUPW Kitimat on 1st March 2013
Actually hydro employees wouldn't read it that day if the dog was out, they would estimate the useage and charge you properly the next time they were there, so would PNG. I truely wonder at your hate for unions when unions are the reason that we have vacation, holidays, equal pay for women, minimum wages, EI, and other social benefits.
past protocol
Comment by Another dog owner on 1st March 2013
With no resolution in sight I sit here and wonder if we are the only street in Canada that this has happened to. I highly doubt it and that being the case there must be some past resolved cases that could help us in resolving this matter.To simply do nothing is completely unacceptable.I have heard unofficially the demands the post office has put forward to the dog owner and if these demands are true we the rest of the residents on the street will never get our mail.There needs to be something done sooner than later.I wonder how long this would go on if the mayor lived on our street.
The mail carrier is a unionized bully.
Comment by Janice Robinson on 1st March 2013
Wouldn't it be nice if B.C. Hydro employees ever refused to read your meter because of a loose dog? Or if the guy from PNG refused to approach? Or, what about the people who land up on our doorsteps, at inconvenient times, to give us the latest edition of The Watch Tower?

I must be getting old, but I remember when all dogs ran loose around our neighbourhoods. They used to chase cats through yards, and would occasionally get run over by cars. People could be heard down the block, hollaring for Rex to get home. Posties used to adapt and adjust to weather, traffic, and dogs. Our postie knew the name of every dog on the block, and carry dog treats.

But then: Kids walked to school, made their own lunches and did chores for their allowances. Parents washed/reused cotton diapers and we used brown, paper shopping bags, etc.

Let the dogs out, and put that mail carrier in the sorting room! Good grief.
Dear MS
Comment by CUPW Kitimat on 1st March 2013
It's unfortunate you didn't take the time to read my comment or you would realize that the problem isn't the dog but the owner, who has signed a number of agreements to keep the dog restrained during mail delievery, and has yet to abide by those agreements. So very often owners say "It's OK he doesn't bite." And yet don't understand how much more agressive any dog gets towards a letter carrier. So before you comment again please take the time to research the situation and understand it fully and get all sides before jumping to conclusions about how carriers deliever the mail. I will leave my personal email here so that if you are truly interested in understanding the situation I might be able to help.
Comment by MS on 28th February 2013
This carrier is clearly making a mountain out of a mole hill. The dog has not been out in months yet said carrier is still refusing to deliver mail because the dog looks at her through a freakin window! Is this dog shooting daggers with his look? is the window make of plastic? What exactly does this carrier think is going to happen with this dog looking at her? Dogs look out windows all the time...are they all thinking "wow I would like to go out there and attack the first thing I see" no they're bored and watching the comings and goings on the street are entertainment. Get a grip, I have quite the forbidding looking cat that looks out the window, perhaps my mail carrier fears for her life as well....maybe canada post should refuse to deliver mail period until all pets are banned from the town.
misinformation to council
Comment by CUPW Kitimat on 28th February 2013
I am quite frankly surprised at how much people don't seem to care about the welfare of letter carriers. First I'd like to say that I can't find out who the mayor happened to talk to at the post office so a name would be nice. Also the dog is not the problem, the problem is the owners lack of cooperation and apathy towards the plight of the letter carrier having this dog run and bark at them. This is very serious. The dog consistently escapes from the back yard and the owner does nothing to make sure the dog remains restrained. The reason the mail was cut off in the first place was because the dog chased lettercarriers into someones property. The owner has received compliance letters before which were ignored in the end.
you know the dog??
Comment by Paul Millar on 28th February 2013
if you know where the dog lives and you seen the problem..fix it...if your not part of the solution then you are part of the problem postal carriers want to do their job safe...and with out fear EACH day not just the day the dog is glad you get mail to your house..Canada post can put a Mail box at end of street and crying will stop ...saves them money and you can deal with your neighbours dogs yourselves....we in Kitimat are so spoiled... move away and find out!
Comment by Daniel Carter on 27th February 2013
This is getting stupid now. The dog is inside staring out the window at a mail carrier and that person(s) still will not deliver the mail? You have got to be kidding me. Give me the darned mail and I will hand deliver it!
Thats the dumbest thing ever.
Comment by Linda M on 27th February 2013
I agree every postal carrier has the right to do their job safe from roaming dogs, however when one says they won't deliver mail to Farrow Street because the dog is looking out the window, that's about the most ridiculous excuse I've ever heard. For goodness sake what does the post office want? Euthanasia? Their demands are just dumb.
Farrow Street Resident
Comment by Laurel on 27th February 2013
We've been told we'll get home delivery when the dog dies or moves.
We can keep going to the post office to pick up our mail or get a kiosk at the end of the street.
Perhaps the posties need to carry tasers for these aggresive dogs
Way too long
Comment by Another dog owner on 27th February 2013
Please stay on top of this issue because this has gone on way too long now.People on the street have tried to put pressure on Canada Post through letters, phone calls ,etc. only to get nowhere.The whole scenario has no end in sight.The kicker is that there are houses on Creed st. closer to the house in question than houses on Farrow st. who aren't getting their mail.The people on Farrow st. just want their mail delivery restored with no one getting hurt doing it. Thank you.
$500 fine?
Comment by Larry Walker on 27th February 2013
Do not agree with your actions. So you fine the owner $500 and he refuses to pay for whatever reason. You have effectively given THE DOG a life sentence at the pound.

I would sooner put your efforts into hiring a bylaw enforcement officer (a dog catcher) who could and would enforce all these bylaws (including enforcement of the dog waste (poop) pick up by their owners among other things.

It is nice to have laws but if you don't enforce them..what good are they?