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Trail looks at going it alone on animal control

The City of Trail will look at ways of providing animal control after the regional district cancelled its contract with the BC SPCA.

Councillor Nick Cashol introduced a motion this week asking city staff to study alternatives.

Late last year the RDKB notified its member municipalities that it would end its contract with the SPCA as of Feb. 9, citing increased costs.

Since then Cashol said the city has received at least a couple of complaints. On April 19, a resident wrote a letter, frustrated over dogs running at large. It was addressed by city staff.

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Last week they received an email from another resident who described dogs running wild and acting aggressively toward a smaller dog on a leash.

“For me it’s about public safety,” Cashol said. “It’s just not a good situation to have. No one’s going to argue that we don’t need animal control. It’s an essential service that needs to be provided to the people of Trail.”

The motion, which passed with only councillor Paul Butler opposed, didn’t specify which alternatives city staff should investigate or impose a deadline.

Councillor Thea Hanson asked if anyone other than the SPCA provides animal control services locally. Cashol replied he’s not aware of anyone.

Cashol said signing a new contract with the SPCA could be an option, but he will leave it to staff to figure out.

When the RDKB declined to renew its agreement with the SPCA, the animal welfare agency said it was concerned about the decision.

It said donor-funded services such as animal cruelty investigations, sheltering and adoptions would continue, but called the lack of animal control “a major gap in services.”

“It is extremely regrettable that this gap in animal services will now exist,” said Adrienne McBride, senior director of community animal centres for the BC SPCA.

“We’re concerned that there will be significant consequences for stray animals who will now be at risk without care or housing, for dangerous dogs running at large and for residents who will have nowhere to turn for help with barking dogs and other issues in their community.”

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