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REPORTING · 11th September 2013
Walter McFarlane
Council Launches Pre-Emptive Strike Against Further Canine Incursions

The Farrow Street Dog returned to Kitimat City Council on Monday, September 9th during a Special Meeting of Council. While Canada Post has accepted the steps which Council and the property owner took to address the issue of Animal Control, they have issued an ultimatum to the District.

A memo to Council from CAO Ron Poole explains the Mail is still not being delivered to Farrow Street and will not unless Council provides provisions to set up a Community Mail Box (CMB) in the case the dog which caused the problems in the first place, is permitted to get out and threaten a postal worker again.

Council was presented with four options. The first is a permanent CMB. A problem with this is there is no sunset clause. If the dog gets out and threatens a postal worker, Farrow Street will permanently move to the postal boxes. This means if the dog dies or moves away at a later date, Farrow Street residents will be fetching their mail from the CMB. The good news is there will be no cost to the District.

Poole added that letters concerning this arrangement were hand delivered to Farrow Street. They received 8 phone calls from residents who indicated the deal was not perfect, but should be entered by the District of Kitimat. They also received two responses asking them not to accept it.

The second is a temporary CMB which would be set up if the dog ever threatens a postal worker. It would be removed when the dog no longer lives in the neighbourhood. However, it would cost the District an estimated $10,000 to install and remove.

The other options were to discuss ideas and come up with another option or do nothing.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff moved the recommendation for option number 2, for the provisions of a temporary mailbox and that it is communicated to the people of Farrow Street before any agreements are signed with Canada Post.

“Our staff has worked long and hard at this. Option 2 provides that a community mail box be installed in the event the dog itself threatens a mail carrier again. Option 2 would give door to door service but in the event that this particular dog were to threaten a mail carrier again, then we would be facilitating the installation of a temporary community mail box. At some future point, should that dog die and the owner of the dog leave town or move elsewhere, than, it is important that the delivery of mail to that street be put back the way it was before all these problems associated with this one particular animal were raised,” said Feldhoff.

He hoped the Animal Control bylaws would have been enough for Canada Post however, he felt they were insisting on putting Council in a difficult spot. He expressed the temporary mailboxes was the way to go.

Deputy CAO Warren Waycheshen told Council one of the things they are seeing is the strengthening of the bylaws. He told Council Canada Post was put in a tough position and they were willing to work with Council on a temporary basis. He expressed he sits with the Humane Society 2-3 times a week discussing dog issues.

“It’s really out there in the public now. We’ve had some people call in and say, there is a dog running down my street, I don’t want this to turn into Farrow, will you come and take a look so people are being more vigilant about it,” said Waycheshen.

He expressed this is series of unfortunate incidences which got away from everybody and it has not happened again and the District will not let it happen again because they are meeting on an ongoing basis to work through this.

“Canada post recognizes that we’ve brought in a lot stronger legislation that Council pass that says if the Dog is out or if it’s a dangerous dog, you’re getting a big fine for that so usually, the financial incentives are enough to get people and in this instance, by the time it got to us, it had gotten out of hand, so it was a bit of a learning experience,” said Waycheshen.

He explained the reason for the temporary solution was the reaction from Council and the community to the permanent mail box. People did not like being stuck with a permanent mailbox in case the dog dies or moves at a later date.

He gave credit to Canada Post who was in a ‘tougher spot’ and agreed to it.

Feldhoff stated this is not just about the residents of Farrow. He did not wish to set a precedent for the rest of Kitimat because even though Council is trying hard to ensure this does not become an issue elsewhere in town, it could happen on other streets and they want to continue door to door delivery on streets which have door to door delivery.

The motion was called and carried.
Dog of a problem
Comment by Pinnwheel on 16th October 2013
Let see how long we can go on about this BS,
Give the man a Fine and keep doing so or DESTROY the DOG........
Common Sense
Comment by K Ruff on 12th October 2013
I am still amazed that after all this discussion and inconvience that this issue has generated, not once has anyone suggested having the owners and the dog seek training for both of them. This should be the mandate for any dog issues that the district is having. What's the worse that could happen, the owners learn how to control their dogs, and they end up with a happier, well behaved dog.
Debbie
Comment by Debbie on 26th September 2013
Sounds to me like the dog really isn't the problem that the post office says it is or else it would have been removed already. Talk to the residents of the street and I am pretty sure they will confirm this.
Confused
Comment by Still Frustrated on 23rd September 2013
Now let me see if I understand what is happening on this issue. City officials walk the street putting envelopes in residents mailboxes and there were no incidents reported about a dog. Paperboy (12 year old) walks the street twice a week delivering newspapers (no problem) Marlin Swim Club walks the street regularly delivering catalogues (no problem). Canada post hears dog barking from a block away and mail service is disrupted. I must say thank you to Councilor Feldoff for your concern about the rest of Kitimat and not the matter at hand. Deputy Warren sits with the humane society 3 times a week and still can't solve any issues with the dog but has the nerve to say people are aware as they are getting phone calls from people saying there is a dog running down the street and we don't want this turning into another Farrow (give me a break) find something more valuable to do with your time and my tax dollars please. Maybe once the community boxes are installed all over town and they layoff all the Post Office and the service contracted out will somebodies eyes finally open.
Farrow St Problem
Comment by CEM on 20th September 2013
Take the dog away from the irresponsible owners !
End of Story ! Why has it it taken this long to solve this problem ????? May and council "spinning their wheels" in muck !
Temporary???
Comment by Rory Brown on 16th September 2013
Can someone explain to me why everything council wants to do to "correct" a problem is temporary? Remember Monaghan's great idea for an Atco City Hall? A fine example. Here is an idea. How about a permanent fix. Have the dog removed. Problem fixed. What if the same people get another dog you ask. Ban them from having another dog. If a person can be ban from Kitimat (and that was a good thing) I'm sure these people can be stopped from having a pet. When the final decision is made, make it a permanent one. This way it is a one time cost to the tax payers.
Everyone's problem but the owners???
Comment by Val on 15th September 2013
Everyone is scrambling to find a solution to the pet owner's problem.... Why is that? The problem relies on the pet owners shoulders and if the owner can't solve the problem with their pet.... then the the proper authorities remove the problem THE PET!! Impound the dog and charge the owners. Since when has animal control become the Post Office's problem?
I don't Get it!
Comment by Bill Vollrath on 14th September 2013
If a dangerous dog is loose on the street, the SPCA should take it away. The owners could bail it out but on 3rd strike...put the dog down. If the dog is tied in front of one house, don't deliver mail to that house! Period...end of problem!
Volunteer
Comment by David Galbraith on 13th September 2013
Why isn't the bylaw officer and the SPCA doing what is mandated in the law?
Allow me to volunteer in the delivery of the mail for Farrow St.
I have two large dogs - Pitbull cross and a Rotteweir that are very well socialized and I can walk them anywhere unleashed and they just want to be everyone's friend, including other dogs.
If I give them the command to take care of a aggressive situation.
David Galbraith
It will be taken care of.
I can't believe the good citizens of Farrow St. are held at the mercy of one ignorant person.
Mail Delivery????
Comment by Frustrated on Farrow on 12th September 2013
Once again council has showed it's true colors and can't make a simple decision on the mail delivery on Farrow Street. The final answer to the box at the end of the street is NO, so I am not sure which part is so hard to understand. If the problem is the dog like we have been told then please have the humane society remove the dog from the irresponsible homeowner or better yet for everyday that the mail is not delivered just add $10 a day to homeowner's yearly taxes to be distributed to the other taxpayers on Farrow Street to offset the cost of fuel because they have to pick their mail up at the post office. Here is another suggestion for you, why don't you contract it out just like the garbage pick up.

Thanks in advance
Look...quit going round and round on this issue..
Comment by Larry Walker on 11th September 2013
You can study this issue to "death". You have a dog bylaw but....no one and no desire on the part of the town to enforce it. And with this in mind....nuthin is going to change (again)....
farrow st dog
Comment by tony devries on 11th September 2013
maybe the owner of the dog should pick up the cost of the mail boxes and for any other problems that the dog creates