NEWS/ CITY COUNCIL — What promised to be a contentious two-dog-rule debate at Tuesday’s Kamloops City council meeting turned out to have little bite as a family was quickly given approval for three dogs.
Jane MacKinnon and her daughter Jennifer appeared at the meeting to ask for a variance for 2002 Stagecoach Drive to keep small-breed dogs Oreo, Hercules and Zeus. A tearful MacKinnon said she is a responsible dog owner who has always gotten licences for her dogs but didn’t realize she was breaking the rules when she got a companion dog for her late husband, who was suffering from cancer.
The dog, Oreo, “was a companion to keep him company as he spent his days at home,” she said, and “holds a special place in my heart.”
Several neighbours wrote letters opposing the variance, saying “rules are rules” and that the dogs are “yappy.” Some said the house actually contained five dogs, three upstairs and two in a basement rental suite.
“The upstairs and downstairs occupants share the deck and the back yard and the dogs all have the run of the entire place,” wrote one neighbor. “So when the dogs are all outside, they are a noisy pack that barks non-stop.”
MacKinnon said she previously had four dogs but gave one away when she learned of the limits.
Coun. Tina Lange said MacKinnon was “genuinely confused” about the regulations.
“Apparently those dogs bark a lot outside as little dogs often do.” But she said three small dogs probably don’t bark more than two, and supported the variance.
If neighbours are concerned about the noise they can call the bylaws department and complain, she said.
The variance was approved without further debate.