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Stiff fines await irresponsible Surrey dog owners

Those who leave dogs in hot cars will have to get out their wallets now that the city has added bite to it bylaw.
Surrey is set to add more bite to its Dog Responsibility regulations

You can now be fined $500 for leaving a dog in a hot car in Surrey.

Driving with Buster loose in the back of the pickup truck? You may have to open your wallet for that, too.

The city is strengthening its Dog Responsibility Bylaw to allow bylaw enforcement officers to directly issue tickets to those who violate the Care of Dogs regulation.

The amendments, which city council is expected to adopt at its July 7 meeting, come on the heels of the death of six dogs who perished from heat stroke while in the care of a Lower Mainland dog walker in May. She initially said the dogs were stolen in Langley, but later admitted they'd died in the back of her covered truck.

“Recent tragedies have reminded us of the importance of being diligent in caring for our animals,” said Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. “Temperatures in vehicles can rise to dangerous levels very rapidly in the summer season, posing a serious risk to dogs that may be in them. We want to encourage pet owners to be mindful of this while enjoying the warm summer season with their pets in Surrey."

Other issues the Dog Responsibility Bylaw addresses include having dogs tied up wearing a choke collar or spending more than four hours a day tethered.

While animals cannot be removed from a vehicle by city bylaw officers, the BC SPCA or RCMP can.