The Town of Ponoka has adopted a new Animal Control Bylaw #424-19, which was passed by Town Council in February 2021 at its regular meeting. The new Bylaw will regulate both cats and dogs in the Town of Ponoka. Under the new Bylaw, all dogs and cats aged six months and older that reside in Ponoka must be licenced annually by their owners and comply with all other provisions outlined in the Bylaw.
Other provisions in the new Bylaw include:
- A maximum limit of five cats and dogs in total per residence is permitted in the Town of Ponoka (unless the property is occupied and operated by a licenced kennel operator in accordance with a development permit under the Town's Land Use Bylaw). See Part 5, #19.
- A grandfathering licence may be applied for between April 1 to August 31, 2021, for each dog or cat that exceeds the five-animal-per-residence limit under the new Bylaw. Upon application and payment, those animals would be grandfathered under the new Bylaw. Applications for a grandfathering licence will not be accepted past August 31, 2021. Grandfathering licences are not transferrable to another dog or cat. See Part 2, Section 1.
- A new Aggressive Dog Definition, regulations, and licensing requirements. See Part 2e; Part 4; and Part 6.
- New fee and fine schedules that were last updated in 2007. See Schedule A and Schedule C.
- Regulation and licensing of cats, owners have until September 1 to purchase licences before enforcement of this requirement under the Bylaw begins. Licences purchased this year will not expire until December 31, 2022, giving cat owners an extra six months of licensing coverage in the first year of the new Bylaw. After December 2022, cat licences will need to be renewed annually.
- The regulation and licensing of cats were added to the new Bylaw in response to concerns expressed by citizens over the years asking the Town to help address cat-related issues in Ponoka. Those concerns were echoed widely during a public consultation process held by the Town in late 2019 and 2020 that invited public review and feedback on the new Bylaw. The majority of citizens who provided input were in favour of licensing and regulating cats.
- Under the new Bylaw, the owner of a cat is guilty of an offence if the cat: is running at large, defecates or sprays on property other than the Owner’s; or stalks birds on property other than the Owner’s.
- A new definition for Exotic Pets which are regulated by federal and provincial legislation. See Part 2j; and Part 5, #29. The Town of Ponoka allows Exotic Pets unless they are restricted by provincial or federal legislation.
- Cat trapping requirements must be followed under the Bylaw. See Part 7, Page 6; and Schedule D.
Review Animal Control Bylaw
You are encouraged to review the new Animal Control Bylaw. To view each section of the Bylaw below, just click on the bullet you want to see and it will open for you.
The Animal Control Bylaw includes the following sections:
- Part 2 - Definitions
- Part 3 - Licensing Provisions and Offenses
- Part 4 - Licensing Requirements for Aggressive Dogs
- Part 5 - Animal Control Provisions
- Part 6 - Aggressive Dog Designation
- Part 7 - Cat Trapping
- Part 8 - Standards of Care for Animals
- Part 9 - Offences Applicable Only to Aggressive Dogs
- Part 10 - Kennels
- Part 11 - Threaten, Attack or Bite Animal Provisions
- Part 12 - Additional Penalties
- Part 13 - Interference with an Officer
- Part 14 - Impounding Animals
- Part 15 - Full Right and Title
- Part 16 - Municipal Tickets and Violation Tickets
- Part 17 - Continuing Offences
- Part 18 - Summary Conviction
- Part 19 - Exemption for Police Service Dogs
- Part 20 - Proof of Licence and Age of Animal
- Part 21 - Certified Records of Town
- Part 22 - Severability
- Schedule A - Annual Licence Fees
- Schedule B - Aggressive Dog on Premise Signage
- Schedule C - Specified Penalties
- Schedule D - Conditions and Procedures to Rent Cat Traps
- Schedule E - Dr. Ian Dunbar's Dog Bite Scale
To view the complete Animal Control Bylaw document, please click here.
Enforcement of the Town of Ponoka’s Animal Control Bylaw is carried out primarily on a complaint-driven basis by Old MacDonald Kennels, which operates under contract for the Town. Enforcement of the Bylaw is also provided by the Town’s Bylaw Enforcement Officer and by the Ponoka RCMP detachment as appropriate.
To report a concern under the Town’s Animal Control Bylaw, please contact Old MacDonald Kennels at 403-783-7447.
If you have any questions about the new Animal Control Bylaw, please phone the Town Office during regular office hours from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday at 403-783-4431.