Phone: 403-603-6300 Fax: 403-652-4055
Office Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday
The Dog Owners Code of Conduct
Foothills County has a Dog Owners Code of Conduct in place which is voluntary in nature and encourages dog owners to be cognizant of the fact that, even though they reside in the country, they must respect the rights of other residents to enjoy peace and quiet in their area.
To all County Dog Owners
Over the past few years, Foothills County has seen a significant increase in complaints regarding dogs. Complaints are mainly about dogs running at large and becoming a nuisance, and/or striking fear in those not accustomed to dealing with dogs. Many complaints involve dogs chasing livestock, harassing joggers, and even causing injury to people, pets or livestock. There continues to be incidents of people being bitten and dogs chasing cattle and horses. The owners of these dogs face dog impound fees and a significant fine. Council has added "damage to property and injury to other cats and dogs" as bylaw offences. Additionally, any victim may choose to seek damages through a civil law suit. It is important that "Dog Owners" realize the significant liabilities and responsibilities should their pet injure livestock or a person.
Fines are up to $350 for a dog that bites, or attempts to bite, any person who is on public or private property. Also there is a fine of $250 for a dog that is proven to have pursued, worried or destroyed livestock, anywhere in the municipality.
Keep your dog on your own property. Dogs that are allowed to roam loose outside their yard will expand their "territory" and will often defend it aggressively. Regardless of size or breed, all dogs can form packs and are susceptible to developing a "pack mentality" which makes them more likely to attack livestock. The implications to the owner of the livestock can be devastating, especially in the spring, when cows are heavy in calf or calving, mares are due to foal, and young llamas & alpacas are vulnerable. Roaming dogs may also harass children at bus stops, riding horses or bikes. Their instinct to herd or chase moving objects makes kids, bikes, cars, or livestock an attractive target.
- Neuter your dog. Neutering reduces aggression and the desire to roam.
- Socialize your dog. Be sure your dog interacts in a positive fashion with all members of the family, as well as people outside the family and other animals.
- Train your dog. Basic obedience training is as important for dogs living in rural areas as it is for the city dog.
- Do not leave your dog(s) outside unattended to bark incessantly. Be considerate of your neighbours and ensure that your dog(s) are not outside barking incessantly while you are away during the day or night.
AVOID BEING BITTEN
When approached by a strange dog, do not run away. Dogs have a natural instinct to chase and catch things. Do not make eye contact with the dog. If a dog rushes at you, stand very still, with your arms at your sides and back away slowly and quietly. In a loud, commanding voice, tell the dog to "go away".
If you are attacked, give the dog an object, such as a jacket or backpack on which to bite/chew.
If you fall or are knocked to the ground:
- Curl into a ball.
- Protect your face - cover your head and neck.
- Put your hands over your ears.
Steps to take when bitten by a dog:
- If possible, have someone confine the dog immediately.
- Collect as much information as possible about the dog and/or its owner (i.e., owner's name, address, telephone number, description of the dog, and its vaccination history).
- Clean the wound thoroughly using soap and water.
- Contact your physician to evaluate the seriousness of the bite.
- Photograph the site of the bite as soon as possible
- Report the dog bite to County office.
Other Important Numbers:
Calgary Humane Society: 403-250-7722
Heaven Can Wait, High River: 403-601-2520
Pound Rescue, Okotoks: 403-938-4890
Calgary Dog Pound: 403-268-CITY (2489)
Lost and Found Dogs may be reported to the County office.
Protective Services - Phone: 403-603-6300
The Community Standards Bylaw is a nuisance, noise and unsightly property bylaw. The bylaw was created due to the number of complaints surrounding these issues. This bylaw will only be enforced on a complaint basis.