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Regional District of Central Kootenay to review current dog control service

The RDCK is contemplating taking the service in-house
The Regional District of Central Kootenay may be taking on dog control services. Photo:Angie Mindus photo/Black Press

by Rachel Lesosky

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

Dog control in the RDCK may be changing after the board directed staff to review current service levels. The change could come in the form of a standardized service implemented across the RDCK, with the RDCK bylaw enforcement team taking on the job.

Currently, dog control services are awarded to independent contractors.

“When contracts were coming up [for renewal], we started looking at what was happening in dog control and frankly, the statistics I was seeing led me to believe that we weren’t delivering this service in the most financially responsible manner that we could,” said Jordan Dupuis, supervisor on the Bylaw Enforcement Team.

For example, when the contract for Nakusp and Area K came up for renewal this year, the contractor’s proposal was significantly higher than last year. As well, Area K Director Teresa Weatherhead has expressed dissatisfaction with the costs for her constituents, since many of the calls for service come from within the village of Nakusp.

Bringing the service in-house could be more efficient and cost-effective.

“And it would remain complaint-driven,” said Dupuis. “So if there’s no problem, we’re not going. But if there is a problem, it’d be nice to have the tools. Because as soon as someone does get bit, as soon as something happens, I’m getting the phone call saying, ‘why don’t we have these services available to us?’”

Dupuis said it’s going to take time, though.

“We need to have a conversation around what levels of service we’re going to respond to,” he said.

New contracts were just awarded to Areas I and J that expire next year on June 30. “So that’s the timeline,” said Dupuis.

The board also directed staff to draft a responsible dog owner’s bylaw, and an establishment bylaw to deliver dog control service to all rural areas. Interested municipalities will be invited to join the consultation.