Iqaluit city councillors gave first reading Wednesday night to a new responsible pet owner and sled dog bylaw.  

It merges two existing bylaws and covers regulation, licensing, control and prevention of cruelty to animals.

There would be official, designated dog team areas. Dogs would be not allowed on school grounds, playgrounds, sports fields or at the cemetery.

Cats would have to be licensed.   Animals would not be permitted to ride in the back of trucks unless in a kennel.

Municipal enforcement could classify animals as "vicious" through court orders.

Under the new bylaw, owners would be held responsible for their animals and could be fined, with penalties range from $50 for an unlicensed dog to $1,000, where an animal attack causes severe personal injury.  

Michael Hatch, acting chief municipal enforcement officer with the City of Iqaluit, said they worked with the fire department, dog team owners and the Iqaluit Humane Society to craft the bylaw.

"We would have a lot stricter guidelines, therefore we would not have to take it from a case-by-case basis," he said. "It would be more set in stone of what the regulations are that owners must follow at all times."

The 38-page bylaw has been reviewed by the City's public safety committee.

It still has to pass second and third reading.