New Animal Control Bylaw - Online Open House
Welcome to the new Animal Control Bylaw Online Open House. The purpose of this virtual Open House is to walk you through the new Animal Control Bylaw that Ponoka Town Council has recently approved.
The new Animal Control Bylaw No. 424-19 will regulate both cats and dogs in the Town of Ponoka. Under the new Bylaw, all dogs and cats aged six months and older that reside in Ponoka must be licensed annually by their owners and comply with all other provisions outlined in the Bylaw.
Other provisions in the new Bylaw include:
- A maximum limit of five cats and dogs in total per residence is permitted in the Town of Ponoka (unless the property is occupied and operated by a licenced kennel operator in accordance with a development permit under the Town's Land Use Bylaw). See Part 5, #19.
- A grandfathering licence may be applied for between April 1 to June 30, 2021, for each dog or cat that exceeds the five-animal-per-residence limit under the new Bylaw. Upon application and payment, those animals would be grandfathered under the new Bylaw. Applications for a grandfathering licence will not be accepted past June 30, 2021. Grandfathering licences are not transferrable to another dog or cat. See Part 2, Section I.
- A new Aggressive Dog Definition, regulations, and licencing requirements. See Part 2e; Part 4; and Part 6 and
- New fee and fine schedules that were last updated in 2007. See Schedule A and Schedule C.
Enforcement of Cats Begins July 1
The new Animal Control Bylaw takes effect immediately but enforcement of cats and the five-animals-per-residence limit will not begin until July 1, 2021, in order to give citizens time to purchase cat licences and grandfathering licences.
To view the new Animal Control Bylaw, please Click Here.
Public Consultation Resulted in Changes to the New Bylaw
The regulation and licensing of cats were added to the new Bylaw in response to concerns expressed by citizens over the years asking the Town to help address cat-related issues in Ponoka. Those concerns were echoed widely during a public consultation process held by the Town in late 2019 and 2020 that invited public review and feedback on the new Bylaw. The majority of citizens who provided input were in favour of licensing and regulating cats.
After carefully considering the public feedback that was received, the following additional changes were made to the new Bylaw before it received second and third reading from Town Council at its February 23, 2021 regular meeting. Those changes include the following:
- A new definition for Exotic Pets which are regulated by federal and provincial legislation. See Part 2j; and Part 5, #29. The Town of Ponoka allows Exotics Pets unless they are restricted by provincial or federal legislation.
- Cat trapping requirements that must be followed under the Bylaw. See Part 7, Page 6; and Schedule D.
Cats were added to the new Bylaw in response to concerns expressed by citizens over the years which were echoed widely during an extensive public consultation process held in late 2019 and 2020. Under the new Bylaw, the owner of a cat is guilty of an offence if the cat:
- Is running at large;
- Defecates or sprays on property other than the Owner’s; or
- Stalks birds on property other than the Owner’s.
A Licence is Your Pet’s Ticket Home
An animal control licence is your pet’s ticket home and helps ensure they can more easily be returned home safely by the Town’s Animal Control Contractor who would have an up-to-date record of how to contact the pet’s owners.
Licensing also saves pet owners added cost if your animal accidentally escapes your property, which can result in a fine for failing to license your cat or dog.
The new cat tags have arrived and you can now purchase cat licences from the Ponoka Town Office.To purchase a cat licence please contact the Town at email@example.com or 403-783-4431 to request a copy of the animal licensing form. You can then send the completed form with payment by mail to the Town Office (#200, 5604-50 Street, Ponoka, AB, T4J 1G5), by email with credit card information to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by placing the completed form with payment in the drop box in the west vestibule at the Town Office between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Cat owners have until July 1 to purchase licences before enforcement of the Bylaw begins. Licences purchased this year will not expire until December 31, 2022, giving cat owners an extra six months of licensing coverage in the first year of the new Bylaw. After December 2022, cat licences will need to be renewed annually, similar to dog licences. Dog licences purchased this year will expire and require renewal by December 31, 2021.
Dog licences, which can be purchased at any time, will expire and require renewal by December 31, 2021. Cat and dog licence fees are used to help offset the cost of Animal Control Services provided by the Town.
Grandfathering licences purchased by June 30, 2021 will expire on December 31, 2022 giving those pets an extra six months of licensing coverage in the first year of the new Bylaw. After December 2022, grandfathering licences will need to be renewed annually. Applications for grandfathering licences will not be accepted after June 30, 2021.
Early Bird Rate:
A new Early Bird licensing rate of $15 is included in the new Bylaw for pet owners who license their spayed or neutered cats or dogs between October 1 to December 31 prior to each renewal year. The Early Bird rate is significantly lower than the Town’s previous Animal Control Bylaw to help make licensing more affordable for pet owners.
To view Annual Licence Fees for cats and dogs in Ponoka, please Click Here
Review the Animal Control Bylaw
You are encouraged to review the new Animal Control Bylaw. To view each section of the Bylaw below, just click on the bullet you want to see and it will open for you.
The Animal Control Bylaw includes the following sections:
To view the complete Animal Control Bylaw document, please Click Here
Enforcement of the Town of Ponoka’s Animal Control Bylaw is carried out primarily on a complaint-driven basis by Old MacDonald Kennels, which operates under contract for the Town. Enforcement of the Bylaw is also provided by the Town’s Bylaw Enforcement Officer and by the Ponoka RCMP detachment as appropriate.
To report a concern under the Town’s Animal Control Bylaw, please contact Old MacDonald Kennels at 403-783-7447.
If you have any questions about the new Animal Control Bylaw, please phone the Town Office during regular office hours from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday at 403-783-4431.