The City of Swift Current has implemented its new animal control bylaw. 

This update to the original implemented in the 1980s sees new fees being implemented, amongst which are for reclaiming stray animals. Most of the changes, including those for the fees, were made after an increase in incidents. 

For canines, the first offence carries a fee of $65. The second costs $100, and each additional day stacks a cost of $25. 

Feline reclaims are $40 for the first instance, $100 for the second, and also $25 for each additional day. 

Jackie Schlamp, city clerk for the City of Swift Current, is hopeful that these changes will stem the tide if incidents that have occurred within the city recently. 

"Over the past three years, we've had an increase in animal complaints; mostly dogs- ranging from barking, being left unattended, being at large, and chasing, attacking, or injuring a person or another animal," wrote Schlamp. 

"With that, we had several matters go before the courts either or trial, or interim orders from the presiding judge setting out specific conditions upon the animal or owner, to having the animal removed from city limits."

Following these issues, the decision to update the animal control bylaw became paramount. The changes within now provide enforcement tools for public safety and more immediate options for situation response. 

The goal; mitigate incidents that have previously plagued both pet owners and other citizens of Swift Current. 

"We all know the overwhelming majority of pet owners within the City diligently and lovingly take care of their family pet and work hard to help maintain public safety," said Schlamp. "In the relatively few instances that dangerous situations occur involving dogs, this new Animal Control Bylaw will provide the City with more options to quickly respond."

Swift Current saw a large increase in pet ownership and dependence during the pandemic years. Especially during the isolated quarantine, pets became a social blanket for those stuck living alone, with few contacts. 

"Pets are a lifeline for people, they provide unconditional love, even from a mental health perspective, having a pet and caring for it in return was really valuable for people during or after the pandemic," said Schlamp.

These new fees will hopefully encourage responsible ownership while facilitating the City's ability to respond to the most extreme incidents.