Owners of aggressive dogs in B.C.'s Fraser Valley will now have to provide animal control officers with a picture of their pup under a new bylaw that came into effect for most of the regional district this month.
The regional district already keeps a database of dogs deemed "aggressive or dangerous," but the photo requirement is new, said Jennifer Kinneman, communications manager for the Fraser Valley Regional District.
"Having this additional step of having a photograph will just better assist our staff in identifying a dog that might have those kinds of tendencies," she said.
Under the rules, an "aggressive dog" is defined by behaviour, rather than breed and includes dogs that have:
- "With or without provocation, attacked, bitten or caused injury to a person" or shown a tendency to do so.
- Aggressively pursued a person, vehicle or domestic animal.
- Bitten, killed or caused injury to a domestic animal.
- Been found to be dangerous or aggressive by an animal control officer or the courts.
The regional district also requires owners of aggressive dogs to pay more for a licence — $200, versus $20 for each non-aggressive dog, if it's neutered or spayed.
The idea to require pictures of aggressive dogs came from staff, and it will help animal control officers take extra safety precautions when they need to, said Kinneman.
The pictures will only be visible to staff, not the public at large.
The new rules came into effect at the start of January for Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission, the District of Kent and the Village of Harrison Hot Springs.
Tuesday night, the regional district's board will consider making the same changes for unincorporated parts of the Fraser Valley, which also have an aggressive dog bylaw but don't require the same licensing as the municipalities.