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LETTER: Saanich goes overboard with animal control

Two days ago I went to the eastern end of Cadboro Bay beach. It was deserted as far as the breakwater. I let my old Labrador retriever off leash. As I deposited my dog bag in the bin near the breakwater, a Saanich animal control officer approached me as he had seen my dog without a leash.

I was astonished at his appearance; he looked like a prison guard dressed all in black with what appeared to be a holster in front of him and he immediately patted his body and threatened me with me a fine of $150 or a federal fine of $400 for disrupting wildlife. There were no birds on the beach and no other wildlife that I could see and no people.

I realize that the bylaw regarding off-leash dogs on the beach and in the park has been passed by Saanich council. I appreciated not receiving a fine. However, I am opposed to your restrictions on dogs on the pretext that you are protecting migrating birds that by this time in the year I understand are long gone.

The fact that as a taxpayer I am obliged to pay for enforcement officers in black menacing uniforms is highly offensive. Who made the decision to police the beach unnecessarily in this way? As there are no migrating birds, what is the purpose other than to satisfy a small number of beachside residents?

If you wish to alienate further the people who love the beach and the park and are responsible in their actions, you have succeeded.

Penny Crowe

Saanich

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