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Nipawin wants judges to have power to assign impoundment fees to dangerous pet owners

The town had to impound a dog for 209 days at the cost of $30 per day before it was euthanized under a court order.
Angry Dog
Nipawin is asking the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association to lobby the province to allow judges to assign impoundment and euthanasia fees to dangerous pet owners.

NIPAWIN — Nipawin is pushing to allow judges to assign impoundment and euthanasia fees to pet owners after it had to cover those fees itself for a dangerous animal.

On June 18, 2021, a dog was impounded by the town. Previously, the dog was declared by a judge to be dangerous in another location. The owner had then relocated to Nipawin where, according to the town, it caused “several attacks.”

Under a court order, on Jan. 18, the dog was euthanized.

The costs were covered by the Town of Nipawin. Impounding the dog for 209 days, at $30 per day, led to a fee of approximately $6,270.

Nipawin council passed a motion at their meeting on Jan. 24 to send a resolution to the convention of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA). If the resolution is passed, SUMA would lobby the provincial government to amend the Saskatchewan Municipalities Act.

“There’s no language within the Municipalities Act that permits a judge to consider who to assign the payment of impoundment fees to,” said Barry Elliott, Nipawin’s administrator.

“The issue is current, at least from our perspective it is. If the whole body of SUMA agrees to make that request of the government, it would be viewed differently than an individual municipality doing it.”

The amendment would include language that permits a judge, who has declared an animal to be dangerous, to require, at their discretion, the animal’s owner to pay all fees related to the impoundment of the dangerous animal.

If the resolution is tabled and accepted at the convention, the request would be sent to the province as a recommendation for change.