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Township considering dog protection bylaw

Steve Ferguson won unanimous backing from council to begin work on a bylaw that would punish people who leave dogs in vehicles during hot weather. Township staff will research what other communities are doing.  - Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times
Steve Ferguson won unanimous backing from council to begin work on a bylaw that would punish people who leave dogs in vehicles during hot weather. Township staff will research what other communities are doing.
— image credit: Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times

A bylaw that would ban leaving dogs in hot vehicles is in the works for Langley Township.

Councillor Steve Ferguson made the call for a ban and a fine at the Monday afternoon meeting of council.

It was approved by unanimous vote.

The next step is for Township staff to review what other municipalities have done about the issue and report back to council.

Currently, the Township has no regulations that would apply to leaving dogs in overheated vehicles.

“We don’t have anything,” Ferguson said.

He said the need for a Township bylaw is obvious following the deaths of six dogs in May who expired from heat exhaustion after being left in the back of a dog walker’s truck.

The incident was first reported as a theft in Langley by the dog walker before the deaths were admitted.

“It was a sad day for Langley,” Ferguson said.

Langley City has had a dog protection bylaw on the books since 2006.

In the city, a person can be fined $100 if a dog is found in a poorly ventilated vehicle on a hot day.

In June, Surrey approved a bylaw that would fine people $500 for leaving a dog in a hot car.

While there is no bylaw against the practice, if someone spots a dog in apparent distress in a poorly ventilated car in hot weather, Langley animal shelter manager Sean Baker says witnesses should call the Langley Animal Protection Society or the RCMP and steps will be taken.

- with files from Monique

Tamminga

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