City of Fernie Adopts New Animal Responsibility Bylaw

The City of Fernie adopted a new Animal Responsibility Bylaw at the most recent Regular Meeting of Council. The new bylaw is modeled after the BC SPCA’s Animal Responsibility Model Bylaws that promote best practices for a tiered approach to aggressive, vicious, and dangerous dogs as well as provisions for animal welfare, control, licensing, duties of animal owners, penalties, and enforcement.

This new bylaw replaces the old Animal Control Bylaw, which included breed-specific legislation and has now been repealed. The Animal Responsibility Bylaw No. 2436, 2021 focuses instead on animal behaviour and specific regulations for dogs that have been deemed aggressive, vicious, or dangerous. The bylaw also includes more provisions that better protect domestic animals in our community, including tethering standards of a maximum of 1 hour unattended; outdoor shelter requirements; regulations for transporting animals in the outside compartment of vehicles; and basic standards of care.

City of Fernie Bylaw Enforcement Officer Camille Neal says, “This modernized Animal Responsibility Bylaw includes regulations that help to better protect the welfare of our community’s animals and hold dog owners more accountable for preventing aggressive incidents. It also helps promote a more thoughtful and considerate approach to sharing the community’s trails, parks, and open spaces so that all members of the community can enjoy everything Fernie has to offer.”

Mayor Ange Qualizza adds, “Reporting incidents is critical to the success of this new program and will help keep our community better protected. So don’t hesitate to report; it’s important that we work together to make our trails and parks safe for everyone.”

For detailed information on the new bylaw, including licensing fees, infractions, and fines, please go to To report an incident, please contact Bylaw Services at or by calling 250.423.2244.