A new bylaw in B.C.'s Fraser Valley says any aggressive dog living in the area will have to be photographed for animal control records.
A database of potentially dangerous animals has already been in the area for several years, but the photo requirement is a new addition brought into effect earlier this month.
"The process starts when someone makes a complaint," communications manager Jennifer Kinneman told The Huffington Post B.C. Wednesday. "Then animal control officers investigate, and if the dog is classified as aggressive or dangerous, the owner is asked to provide a photo."
The pictures are kept in a private district database and aren't available to the public.
Kinneman said the new rule is meant to keep both animal control officers and owners safe.
"If one officer is called out with the possibility that that animal has been deemed dangerous, they'll approach the situation differently," she said.
"It also protects owners from false accusations — if someone calls in and reports a dangerous animal, there's always a possibility it's not the dog they're thinking."
After an animal control officer rules that a dog is dangerous or aggressive, owners will have to hand a picture over within a week. Failure to do so could lead to a fine of up to $10,000.
The bylaw says "aggressive" dogs are ones that meet any of the conditions below:
- A dog that has, with or without provocation, attacked, bitten or caused injury to a person or has demonstrated a propensity, tendency or disposition to do so
- A dog that, while running at large, has bitten, killed or caused injury to a domestic animal
- A dog that, while running at large, has aggressively pursued or harassed a person, a vehicle or a domestic animal
- A dog with a known propensity to attack or injure a person without provocation
- A dog owned or harboured primarily, or in part, for the purpose of dog fighting or a dog trained for dog fighting
- A dangerous dog
- A dog that has been found to be dangerous or aggressive by the Chief Animal Control Officer or designate under this or a previous bylaw, by another local government or by a court
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