Despite a plea from a pit bull owner, the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM) is sticking to a bylaw banning the breed within the town's limits.
On Monday, council heard from Lisa Fraik, an NRRM resident who lives within the former Town of Fort Nelson's boundaries. Fraik said she owns an American Staffordshire terrier, a type of pit bull.
She was told by an animal control officer on June 11 to remove the animal from the town's boundaries. The pet is currently staying with one of her relatives in the NRRM rural areas, where the rule does not apply.
The dog is not allowed to live with Fraik because pit bulls have been banned from the former Town of Fort Nelson's boundaries since 1990.
“I have never had an issue when I walk her, and I take her everywhere with us,” she wrote to council. “She is super friendly and does not bark much.”
In 1989, a Fort Nelson pit bull escaped its yard and killed another dog, prompting the town to implement the bylaw.
In 2009, the Town of Fort Nelson merged with the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality. It was decided that the animal control bylaw would apply to the area of the former town, but not to the areas outside it.
The current bylaw includes “provisions that would allow those pit bulls that were licensed between Sept. 14 and Oct. 31, 2007 to be kept by owners under special conditions,” according to an NRRM staff report.
During this time, council briefly amended the bylaw to allow pit bulls, but the decision prompted “much angst” in the community and was later revoked.
“I was incorrectly informed that if I had my dog before pit bulls were banned from town boundaries that the bylaw did not apply to me,” Fraik wrote to council.
Fraik asked council that the dog be “grandfathered” into the existing bylaw.
However, when a vote came to re-examine the issue on Monday, no one on council raised their hand to move the motion forward, according to the town’s deputy CAO Heather Cobbett.
“Just because of the opposition to pit bulls in the community, council does not want to re-visit the issue,” Cobbett said.
Councillors reached by Alaska Highway News did not want to speak about the issue, referring the newspaper to either city staff or Mayor Bill Streeper.
The mayor could not be reached by press time.