By Ingrid Fernandez, Staff Reporter
A new law is to be implemented in San Pedro on January 4, 2016 to benefit the canine members of the island and their owners.
A program that has been in the pipeline for more than two years, that bids dog owners to register and license their dogs at the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) for a fee of $5, aims to reduce the number of stray and unwanted dogs. Dogs will be tagged with a special SPTC license tag, requiring all dogs to have a proper collar and leash.
The regulation was enacted under the Belize Dogs Act Chapter 153 Revised Edition 2000 Section 3 (1): “Except where no dog license is required, every person who keeps a dog in town without being licensed for that purpose or who keeps in any town more dogs than the number he is licensed to keep shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten dollars for each period of seven days, or part of such period, during which he has so kept any dog.”
The Humane Society in San Pedro town, Saga, stated that all dogs that are four months and older will be required to be registered. The new regulation will help pet owners be more responsible and improve pet ownership. Dog owners will be required to have an adequate location for their dogs within their yards and within proper fencing. It will also improve the humane treatment towards dogs because the animals will need to be kept tied in a a humane manner under the new regulation.
Vaccines are a prerequisite for dog licensing. To make the regulation easier on the people, the Humane Society offers to provide free vaccination to people who want to have dogs but cannot afford them
The Humane Society stated that the new regulation will encourage pet ownership responsibility because animals will not be allowed to be at large on the streets or in public places, and if they are they can be tracked back tot heir owners who will have to pay a fine of a hundred dollars for the infraction.
Each dog owner will have to register their name, occupation, residence and number of dogs owned. Since this middle of December, the Society has been active in promoting education and sensitization of the new upcoming regulation in the community. The deadline for dogs registration is January 31 2016.