Surrey: Dog owners and individuals who leave their dogs in hot vehicles or loose in the back of pickup trucks can now be fined $500 for those offenses. City Council has approved recommendations to amend Surrey’s Dog Responsibility By-law to allow By-law Enforcement Officers and Animal Control Officers to issue tickets directly to individuals who violate the “Care of Dogs” section of the by-law.

The proposed amendments will provide enforcement officers greater latitude in relation to enforcement actions associated with the Dog Responsibility By-law.  The ability to proceed with long form charges through the Court will also remain an option where circumstances warrant such an approach.

“Recent tragedies have reminded us of the importance of being diligent in caring for our animals,” says Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. “These amendments will give our By-law and Animal Control Officers the tools to effectively and expediently address the negligent treatment of dogs.”

While animals cannot be removed from a vehicle by By-law Enforcement Officers under any circumstances; such powers reside with the BC SPCA’s Animal Protection Officers or the RCMP, they can now issue stronger fines to any violator.

The Dog Responsibility By-law addresses a range of issues relating to the keeping of dogs including:

· Adequate ventilation must exist anywhere a dog is confined, such as in a vehicle;

· Dogs must be transported in a safe manner which prevents their injury.

· Dogs cannot be tied up wearing a choke collar; and

· Dogs cannot spend more than 4 hours per 24 hour period tethered.

The most recent amendment to this by-law is expected to be adopted and enacted at the July 7, 2014 Council Meeting.