At Monday's City Council Meeting, a conversation was had about the possibility of stray animals being spayed/neutered before being returned to the pet owner. The conversation led to a notice of motion being rescinded.

Councillor Al Jones was going to give notice that he will be bringing forward a motion that council direct the administration to write a City of Airdrie bylaw that ensures that all animals in the custody of the Alberta Pound and Rescue Centers (APARC) be licensed, vaccinated, microchipped and spayed/neutered before being returned to the pet owner. Plans have since changed since more information has been brought forward. 

Lynn MacKenzie, Manager for Municipal Enforcement bought forward some facts to share with the council before the notice would be given. 

"We have received some preliminary legal advice that suggests that such an amendment would be against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As well, currently, the Animal Protection Act (APA), which is the standard of care for how we keep animals says that you can only do medically necessary procedures," MacKenzie said.  

With that information being brought forward, Jones understood that something surgical could be intrusive without the pet owner's consent. 

 "I hope to retain my notice of motion for the microchipping and/or tattooing of said animal," Councillor Jones said.  

MacKenzie explained that some preliminary research was done as they took a closer look at the City of Calgary's animal control bylaw. Calgary's bylaw does have a section that addresses microchipping. 

"Municipal Enforcement is planning to be bringing forward several amendments [to] the Animal Control Bylaw and that would be one of the amendments we would be proposing at that time." 

As there was no set time schedule for when these amendments will be presented to council, Councillor Jones still asked to change his initial motion to only speak to microchipping. However, after hearing that Municipal Enforcement does plan on bringing a report forward to council, other council members spoke about their concern with the notice of motion, including Candice Kolson, Tina Petrow and Ron Chapman. 

With that being said Jones rescinded his full notice of motion for now with the expectation of seeing the Municipal Enforcement report sometime in the future. 

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