Iqaluit mulls animal control job

Eight months after Iqaluit city council approved the creation of a full-time animal control officer, the town is no closer to seeing that happen and some councillors want to know what the delay is.

Eight months after Iqaluit city council approved the creation of a full-time animal control officer, some councillors want to know why nobody's been hired.

Council approved the position in February, to look after the pound. But some councillors complain there are still loose dogs running around town.

Iqaluit's chief administrative officer John Hussey says it's not so simple. The position approved was a pound keeper, not necessarily a dog catcher. "It appears we're still struggling to find enough duties to justify the full time position," Hussey said.

Councillor Kenny Bell says the position needs to be filled. "Without that job being posted and filled, we are putting the public at risk," he said. "I want to make sure that job is posted ASAP. There's no reason why it shouldn't have been, in the first place."

Chief Enforcement Officer Kevin Sloboda says the city doesn't have a stray dog problem — but there are a lot of loose dogs. He says people keep letting their domesticated dogs roam around the city to get exercise.

"It's not that Iqaluit has a stray dog problem because we only have one true stray dog that's running around that we seem to have a problem catching," he said. "The thing is, people open up their doors and out go the dogs."

Councillor Romeyn Stevenson can't believe there's not enough work to justify a dog-catching job. "People often call bylaw now and they're too busy with dogs to do other duties," Stevenson said. "I'm still seeing dogs all the time."

Hussey says the new position could include dog catching duties, but city officials are still figuring it out. The position could be ready to be posted in a month or so, he says.

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