New fines for dog owners in Yellowknife, but rules on unleashing dogs still fuzzy

Yellowknife city council voted down a proposed amendment to the dog bylaw that would have clarified where dogs can be off-leash. But it did add fines for running a dog beside a motorized vehicle.

City council added fines for running dogs alongside cars, but otherwise left dog bylaw the same

A dog roams the Canadian shield near Yellowknife. The City voted down a proposed amendment to the dog bylaw that would have restricted where dogs can be off-leash. (Peter Sheldon/CBC)

Dog owners in Yellowknife won't have to change their dog walking habits, but they could face fines for running a dog beside a motorized vehicle.

City council voted down a proposed amendment to the dog bylaw Monday night, that would have restricted where dogs can be off-leash.

"In terms of ... rules around walking your dog off leash it's the same today as it was yesterday, nothing's changed," said Coun. Julian Morse.

Coun. Julian Morse said there need to be more areas in the city for people to walk dogs off-leash. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

He said the amendment was meant to clear up inconsistencies between the dog bylaw and the bylaw that regulates parks and recreational spaces, on whether dogs need to be on-leash.

Morse was in favour of the changes and said there needs to be more areas in the city like Tin Can Hill where people can let their dogs walk untethered. 

"I think we've heard loud and clear from residents that they want a wider range of options for walking dogs off-leash and that's certainly something that I have my attention on and something that I hope we can achieve in the near future," he said.

Morse pointed to other municipalities that have off-leash areas in parks and said he wants more clear resources for people that want to walk their dogs off-leash

City council did make some changes to the dog bylaw Monday night by adding fines.

People caught running their dogs beside a motorized vehicle — a recent addition to the bylaw — will now face a $250 ticket with second offence carrying a $500 fine.

With files from Brandon Maher

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