Payment by Animal Owner of Impoundment Fees for Animal Declared Dangerous
Whereas Section 378 (1) (c) of The Municipalities Act permits a peace officer or a designated officer to impound an animal the officer believes to be dangerous; and
Whereas Section 375 (5) (a) of The Municipalities Act authorizes a judge who has declared an animal to be dangerous to make an order embodying any number of a series of defined requirements the judge considers appropriate; and
Whereas the defined requirements identified under Section 375 (5) (a) of The Municipalities Act are silent on the matter of the assignment of responsibility for payment of the associated impoundment fees; and
Whereas the absence of language in Section 375 (5) (a) of The Municipalities Act regarding the assignment of this responsibility for payment of the associated impoundment fees prevents the judge from giving due consideration to this matter; and
Whereas the inability of the judge to consider assigning responsibility for payment of the associated impoundment fees to the animal owner as a requirement of a dangerous animal order made under Section 375 (5) (a) of The Municipalities Act, results in the responsibility for payment of the impoundment fees defaulting to the municipality that is responsible for the impoundment of the animal.
Therefore, be it resolved that SUMA advocate the Government of Saskatchewan to amend Section 375 (5) (a) of The Municipalities Act to include language that permits a judge who has declared an animal to be dangerous to assign, at the judge’s discretion, all fees related to impoundment of the dangerous animal to be paid by the animal’s owner.
ACTS AFFECTED: The Municipalities Act
REGION/SECTOR AFFECTED: Towns, villages, resort villages
- Municipalities have authority to enact bylaws regarding matters of animal control under clause 8(1)(k) and section 380.1 of The Municipalities Act. Setting and collecting impound fees is a well-established practice under this authority.
- This issue could be considered the next time The Municipalities Act is amended, and stakeholders would be consulted on any potential improvements to the provisions.