Excerpt from The Province – April 24th

A  Better Life Dog Rescue Director Urges Surrey to Ban Dog Chaining


SURREY – Janet Olson, 58,  founder and director of  A Better Life Dog Rescue and two other women urged city council to enact a bylaw banning the chaining, tethering and cruel confining of dogs.

At Monday’s council meeting, Olson showed a video of dogs that were chained, painting a picture of dogs unable to run free and stuck outside in extreme weather.

“This is what life is like day after day, year after year, for many resident dogs,” she said.

Olson said chained dogs may become aggressive, and are more prone to biting. She also said many strangle to death in their attempts to break free.

She provided the example of Judas, a dog in Burnaby. “Despite being repeatedly reported to the SPCA, Judas remained on a chain for 10 torturous years.”

In a plea to have council enact an anti-chaining bylaw, Olson said, “As long as this remains legal, how can we consider ourselves humane people?”

She added these animals are “totally dependent on us and our humanity – or lack thereof.”

Other cities that have enacted similar bylaws include New Westminster and Delta.

Mayor Dianne Watts said she supports creating a bylaw “150 per cent.”

She said once staff had drafted a bylaw, she wants to engage the three women to ensure the bylaw is written thoroughly.

Coun. Mary Martin echoed that support.

“This is heartbreaking. I have never lived with out dogs,” Martin said.

She asked Olson how many chained dogs she thinks Surrey has. Olson guessed there were probably a few hundred dogs being chained in Surrey, but noted that has gone down in the last few years as awareness about chaining cruelty has spread.

Coun. Barbara Steele requested an emergency resolution be sent to the Lower Mainland Local Government Associations (LMLGA), which is having its AGM in May. Steele said she hoped the resolution would then be forwarded to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), to spread the word to other cities.

— With files from Tom Zytaruk



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