By J.W. Schnarr
When stray dogs are picked up within the Municipal District of Taber, it can be difficult to find a place to house them until their owners are found or they can be adopted.
During their regular meeting on May 12, M.D. council heard more on the issue from Cst. Tamara Dreaddy, the enhanced RCMP officer from the Taber/Vauxhall detachment. Dreaddy said the issue is common enough that she would like to see council consider the issue and perhaps find some way to temporarily house the animals.
“We have a lot of animals like stray dogs, and we have no place to put them,” she said, adding she has been working with Jason Schreiber, the community bylaw enforcement officer in Vauxhall, who uses a place in Bow Island to house the animals when the need arises.
Dreaddy said due to where the animals are sometimes found, there is no centralized site they can be dropped off at. This can cause issues in places like Taber.
“It’s difficult to bring them to Taber because they ask, is the dog from Taber? And then there’s a big to-do about that,” she said.
Dreaddy said there was a recent issue with three dogs that had been collected within the M.D. and there was no place to house them.
She had been in contact with the SPCA and phoned to different communities to see if there was some place to take the strays, and ultimately was able to secure a place in Taber.
She added there are a few ways this issue could be handled by the M.D.
“We could create (a temporary space for the animals), take them in, and feed them,” Dreaddy said. She added the M.D. could also provide a service to dog lovers where they would have a waiting list of people looking to adopt unclaimed strays.
“They are not bad dogs,” she said, and added she wasn’t sure if the dogs were escaping or if they were being released in the M.D.
At least one recent stray resulted in an adoption, and others might follow suit.
Reeve Brian Brewin said further discussion was needed on the matter.
“Maybe we do need a facility,” he said. “Maybe this is something we could work with the town (of Taber) on.”
Municipal Administrator Derrick Krizsan said this is not the first time the issue has been raised.
“We’ve had those discussions many times in the past,” he said, adding there are some options that haven’t been fully explored.
Brewin asked about the legal requirements involved in stray animals, such as how long a stray must be held for before it can be adopted. Dreaddy said she was unaware of a specific law covering that concern, but that some places held the animals for 72 hours before trying to adopt them out.
“I just don’t have anywhere to bring them,” Dreaddy said.