Table of Contents
Featured Inuit Dog Owners:
Scott & Terry Miller
Nunavut Dogsledding Association
Update: No Resolution in Iqaluit
Season's Greetings from Toadhall
The Homecoming, Part II
The Russian Connection, Part II
Meeting Ken Pawson and Kevin Walton
The Ted Fox ISDI Foundation Fund
Two Years in Antarctica
No Click and Treat for ISDs!
All Breed Kennel Club Registry
The Krizan's Fan Hitch Team in Iqaluit
Update: No Resolution in Iqaluit
by Julia Krizan
Not much has happened in Iqaluit since the article about the shooting of dogs as reported in the last Fan Hitch (Volume 2, number 4, August 2000). We still have not received a report on the incident on July 10 when a dog control officer shot one of our dogs under very mysterious circumstances. So far we have requested a detailed report on 4 occasions, twice verbally and twice in an official letter to the town. The town did finally respond with an official statement that the officer acted within the confines of the existing By-law, because our dog was loose at the time of the incident and was not licensed. They also provided us with a copy of By-Law 265 from 1992, which was re-confirmed by town council in April 2000. This document "provides for the control, licensing and prevention of cruelty to animals within the Town of Iqaluit". It regulates mainly the licensing of pet dogs, the number of dogs allowed per household ("A household shall have no more than 3 dogs over the age of 3 months."), the keeping of "vicious" dogs, the powers of dog control officers and penalties. Nowhere in this By-law, except in the section with license tag fees, is it mentioned that people might own dog teams consisting of more than 3 dogs. Even worse than ignoring dog teams in the dog By-law in a town that advertises with pictures of dog teams, is the following By-law, Section 5.3: "Notwithstanding any other provisions of this By-law, a Dog Control Officer is authorized to tranquilize, destroy or dispose of a dog that he reasonably believes is or has recently been at large and not licensed or pursuing, attacking, worrying persons or other animals". This Article killed our dog and many others, many of them most likely completely innocent, just for being loose and/or untagged. Additional Articles describe that loose or/and untagged dogs are to be impoundment for 48 hours, while there is an attempt to identify the owner etc., and which fines have to be paid by the owner. We would have been very happy to pay a $50 fine for a loose and untagged dog. In our eyes, this Article gives far too much power to the dog control officer or people subcontracted by him/her. It can not be possible or right that one person can evaluate why a dog is loose, whether it is untagged or actually just slipped out of it's collar, whether it was "attacking" other dogs, or "worrying" persons - and this all within 2 hours. No witnesses, no reports, no impoundment - nothing. Dog shot - case closed! For us, this case won't be closed until 1) we find out about, most preferably in the form of an official report, the exact circumstances leading to the death of our dog and 2) we see some changes made to this highly contradictory by-law. Realistically, I don't know whether this case will ever close.
After reviewing the new draft of By-Law 265, I can not see too many, if any, improvements. The only important change is that if this draft is approved by the town council, dog teams will finally be recognized as an official way of keeping dogs in this town. A completely new section, Section 8, has 14 Articles and deals with the proper way of keeping dog teams: how to purchase and handle tags; teams allowed only in designated dog team areas, not within residential or commercial zones; how dogs should be chained, fed and watered; where dogs can be driven (not on streets or side walks etc.). Section 8.12 is worth mentioning at this point: "Dog team owners must prove the existence of liability insurance in the amount of $ 500,000.00 prior to the issuance of a dog team license." This Article will do little to motivate team owners to buy their dog tags. I guess, there will be some more untagged dogs in the future, meaning more dead dogs. As I mentioned, this document is a draft and is apparently still open for input. The first reading was supposed to take place in October but with a newly elected town council and a new mayor things might get delayed, or so we heard. I hope the town will get a lot of input and the draft By-law will never get passed in this form. If it does, times will get even harder for dog teams in Iqaluit.