By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Wednesday June 20, 2012
Hamilton Bylaw Enforcement
Sixty per cent of Hamilton’s dog population is not licensed. So it’s entirely appropriate that city council wants to take a hard line to get owners to obey the Responsible Pet Owner bylaw.
Dog owners who won’t obey the law get no sympathy here. Licensing a dog is pretty much a user fee. If you can’t afford to pay the $28 per year to license a spayed or neutered dog, you probably can’t afford the dog, period. The city’s 87,000- strong dog population costs money, everything from leash-free parks to disposing of pet waste to running animal care and euthanasia services. It only makes sense for the people taking advantage of those services — dog owners — to foot part or all of the bill.
And yet, thousands of owners don’t. It’s enough of a problem that Councillor Chad Collins is proposing spot checks by bylaw enforcement, so someone walking their leashed dog could be “pulled over”, so to speak. Random checks without due cause might be a step too far. Still, it’s good to see council and staff acting on this problem. There’s valuable revenue waiting to be collected, and the public would be well-served by a much greater degree of compliance. Source
Meanwhile, Ontario’s deputy chief coroner, Dr. Dan Cass, announced 14 recommendations Monday stemming from a review of 129 cycling deaths over five years, including several high-profile tragedies in Hamilton.
In addition to recommending helmets for adults, Cass also called for mandatory cycling safety lessons in school, side-guards on heavy trucks, more paved shoulders on highways, point-of-sale safety information and beefed-up educational campaigns for both two- and four-wheeled drivers. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)