Members of council are hoping that increased financial penalties for pet owners may prevent animals from roaming free across the township.
They signed off on a new fees bylaw at Monday (March 11) afternoon’s meeting of the finance committee, eliminating a provision that saw fines for impoundment reset at the end of each calendar year.
Fines range from $65 for the first offense, $150 for a second, $250 for a third and $500 for each subsequent offense.
“Hopefully that should help our issue of dogs and cats running loose,” said Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell.
Members of council first discussed removing the reset provision last month during a presentation from Bylaw Enforcement and Canine Control Supervisor Sarah Beauregard-Jones.
Mayor Debbie Bath noted that one particular dog in Sunderland – who is “very popular” on social media – poses a persistent problem.
“We also have one in Cannington as well,” Beauregard-Jones added.
Regional Councillor Ted Smith proposed the measure, which was met with unanimous support.
“People are not receiving the fines that they should be,” he said.