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City set to boost fines for pet offences

If your barking dog disturbs the neighbours or you forget to pick up after your pet, you may soon be on the hook for a maximum fine of $200.

The City of Brandon has proposed a hike in animal-related infractions that would come into effect March 1.

“Hopefully it’ll be that deterrent for people to follow the bylaw,” said Val Rochelle, the city’s director of finance. “Because these are animal-related, we would hope that people would take care and be responsible animal owners.”

The barking complaint ticket will see a huge jump — four times the current maximum fine of $50.

Also to go from $50 to $200 is the fine for accumulation of dog/cat excrement. Under the proposed bylaw changes, several maximum fines would increase from $100 to $200 including the tickets for failing to pick up after your pet, as well as for a dog or cat running at large/off leash.

The fine for leaving an animal in a vehicle when it is unsafe will increase to $200 from $100, as will the ticket for not providing sufficient food/water to an animal.

If paid within 15 days, the fees would be 50 per cent of the maximum fine ($100).

The recommendations were determined by Brandon Police Service’s bylaw enforcement, in conjunction with animal control officers, according to Rochelle.

Meanwhile, changes are also being proposed to the payment options for parking tickets.

While maximum parking fines will remain the same — in the range of $40 to $120 — people will see an increase in the early payment options.

There are two options for early payment of parking tickets — within seven days or within eight to 15 days. Anything exceeding 15 days is the maximum fine.

Under the proposed bylaw change, people will pay 50 per cent of the maximum fine if they pay within seven days.

Currently, people pay between 25-33 per cent of the maximum fine if they pay within a week.

If the ticket is paid between the eighth and 15th day, the current charge is 50-67 per cent of the maximum. That will change to 67 to 75 per cent.

That means, for example, a common expired meter ticket (maximum fine of $40) will cost $20 if paid within seven days, rather than $10.

“We just found that in comparison to other cities, those …discounted rates for the earlier payments are somewhat outdated,” Rochelle said. “It’s not from a revenue perspective. The additional revenue, if there is any… is going to be a byproduct of the changes. The main reason for it is from an enforcement perspective, and the deterrent effect.”

City council gave first reading to the amended bylaw this week. Final reading will take place at the next meeting on Feb. 18.

» jaustin@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 7, 2014

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If your barking dog disturbs the neighbours or you forget to pick up after your pet, you may soon be on the hook for a maximum fine of $200.

The City of Brandon has proposed a hike in animal-related infractions that would come into effect March 1.

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If your barking dog disturbs the neighbours or you forget to pick up after your pet, you may soon be on the hook for a maximum fine of $200.

The City of Brandon has proposed a hike in animal-related infractions that would come into effect March 1.

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