Slocan Valley says no to dog control

A poll of Slocan Valley residents has found more than two-thirds of those surveyed don’t want a dog control service.

A poll of Slocan Valley residents has found more than two-thirds of those surveyed don’t want a dog control service.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay conducted the mail-out questionnaire over the last month or so. With 37.5 per cent of the responses in, 69.2 per cent say they are not in favour of animal control.

“It’s very obvious I will not be implementing [the service],” area director Walter Popoff says. “But this does not make dog conflicts go away.”

Each property owner received a ballot asking if they were willing to pay $5.70 per $100,000 of assessed value annually toward a service to cover the entire valley except the villages of Slocan, Silverton, and New Denver.

The majority of survey responses did not include comments, but Popoff says the ones that did indicated they weren’t happy with the sample bylaw, suggesting it required amendments.

Others weren’t prepared to pay the tax increase, and still others simply didn’t want the service. Responses weren’t broken down by specific community.

Popoff says he’ll talk to the valley’s recreation commissions about putting on classes in the spring dealing with responsible dog ownership.

He also plans to suggest doing something similar in elementary schools.

“To be effective, responsible dog ownership should start at an early age,” he says. “It’s the schools we have to look at, if the trustees are willing to pursue it.”

The issue of animal control came to a head after two incidents in Winlaw this year. In the first, a dog attacked and killed an alpaca, and in the other, a man suffered over 35 puncture wounds when his dog got in a fight with his neighbour’s pets.

RCMP said the lack of a bylaw tied their hands.

Previously, South Slocan residents looked at a localized dog control service but rejected it as too costly.

Animal control is provided in other parts of the regional district, including rural areas around Nelson.

The regional district board will officially receive the poll results at their next meeting on November 24.