Standards of Care in Delta
Delta's Animal Control Bylaw ensures that dogs and other pets are treated humanely. City of Delta Bylaw Inspectors enforce the Bylaw to ensure that pets are properly cared for. While in our primary goal is education over enforcement, animal guardians who do not provide humane care can be levied fines & penalties pursuant to the Bylaw, ranging from $100.00 to a maximum of $2,000.00.
All pet owners must provide their pets with:
- Clean drinking water at all times.
- Clean food and water dishes.
- Suitable food, of sufficient quantity and quality, to allow for normal growth and the maintenance of normal body weight.
- Regular exercise sufficient to maintain good health, including the opportunity to be away from a fixed area.
- Necessary veterinary medical care.
While most companion animals are social creatures and prefer to be with their family (you), animals kept outside, for short to extended periods of time are to be provided with outside shelter that:
- Ensures protection from heat, cold, and wet.
- Allows the animal to turn about freely, and to easily sit, stand, or lay down.
- Provides sufficient shade from direct sun.
- Is regularly cleaned.
- Any excreta (feces or urine) is removed and properly disposed of daily.
An animal may not be tied to a fixed object, where a choke collar, or rope, or chain, forms part of the securing apparatus. The animal must also be able to reach water, have appropriate shelter and be able to stand up and turn around naturally. Animals are not to be tied in any place that is public (directly or implied) and left unattended.
Dogs are only allowed to be tethered for 4 hours in a 24 hour period.
Yes, any animal confined in an enclosed space, including a car, must be supplied with adequate ventilation and water.
With reference to animals kept for short to extended periods of time in vehicles, the Delta Community Animal Shelter would encourage all pet owners to leave their animal(s) at home on sunny days, where they will be more comfortable.
To report a pet in a hot car, please call us at 604-940-7111 and if no answer, call Delta Police at 604-946-4411
Injured or Orphaned Wildlife Concerns
The Delta Community Animal Shelter believes that our community should live in harmony with the natural environment and that each Delta resident can become empowered with the realization that they can make a difference in preserving our wildlife habitats. Please leash your dog in sensitive habitat areas so that your dog is unable to disturb the many nesting birds and wildlife in our community.
Should you find an injured or orphaned wildlife please contact one of the many wildlife care facilities available to help (click on name to take you to their website):
- Birds (Crows, Flickers, Hummingbirds):
Wildlife Rescue Association: 604-526-7275
- Mammals (Squirrels, Opossum, Raccoons):
Critter Care Wildlife Society: 604-530-2064
- Raptors/Birds-of-Prey (Eagles, Hawks, Owls):
Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL): 604-946-3171
- Marine Mammals (Seals/Otters/Whales):
Marine Mammal Rescue Centre (MMR): 604-258-7325
- Aggressive Wildlife (Bears/Coyotes):
BC Conservation Officer Service (COS): 877-952-7277
- Animal Emergency Clinic of the Fraser Valley (after hours): 604-514-1711
Learn more from the Stanley Park Ecological Society's webpage: Coexisting with Coyotes
Found an injured wild animal? Visit BC Wildlife Rescue's page to learn more!
Leash Optional Opportunities
The Delta Community Animal Shelter offers a dog agility yard and large off leash area which are open to the public from dawn to dusk. These areas located to the West of the shelter located at 7505 Hopcott Road while both yards have individual entrances and are fully fenced.
The requirements to use these areas are the same as with any Delta dog leash-optional park; including:
- Leash your dog while entering and exiting an off-leash area.
- Keep your dog within sight and under verbal control at all times.
- Clean up after your pet.
- Up-to-date dog licence tags are required.
- No aggressive dogs allowed (see Delta Animal Control Bylaw No 6893).
- No more than 2 dogs per person are allowed.
- Dogs identified by law to be leashed and muzzled must remain so.
Delta offers 12 leash-optional areas for licensed dogs. Dogs can enjoy off-leash privileges in the designated off-leash areas only, and are not allowed near or on children’s playgrounds, school grounds and sports fields.
To provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all, off-leash etiquette and safety rules must be followed:
- Leash your dog while entering and exiting an off-leash area.
- Keep your dog within sight and under verbal control at all times.
- Clean up after your pet.
- Up-to-date dog licence tags are required.
- No aggressive dogs allowed (see Delta Animal Control Bylaw No 6893).
- No more than 2 dogs per person are allowed
- Dogs identified by law to be leashed and muzzled must remain so
Delta has designated space at the North 40 Park Reserve for commercial dog walking activities, where more than two dogs (to a maximum of four dogs) will be allowed off-leash at a time.
With community feedback, the City of Delta has created the following terms and conditions to form the basis of a new commercial dog walking policy.
Licenced commercial dog walkers:
- Must have a valid Delta business licence.
- Must carry a valid insurance policy with a minimum of $5 million liability coverage and naming the City of Delta as an additional insured.
- Must take a course on responsible dog handling, or be able to prove that they have already taken a training course; both to the satisfaction of the Manager of the Delta Community Animal Shelter (DCAS).
- Must purchase an annual permit issued by the Manager of Delta Community Animal Shelter.
- Must be 19 years of age or older.
- Must wear clothing (vest/shirt) that identifies them as a licenced commercial dog walker.
- Must immediately muzzle and leash any dog that acts in an aggressive manner.
- Must leash any dog that is unable to respond; that is not "under control."
- Must pick up after all dogs in their care and act as responsible custodians of the park.
- Must be respectful of all other park users and obey all park signs.
- Must have suitable transportation to ensure the health and safety for all animals in their care.
Additional terms and conditions:
- If a dog under a commercial dog walker's care has a history of being aggressive, that dog is not allowed off-leash at any time.
- Each commercial dog walker is allowed up to eight dogs; four of the eight are allowed off-leash at a time.
- All dogs must remain on-leash until they are within the designated commercial dog walking space within the park.
- All dogs must wear a vest or tag that identifies them as part of the commercial dog walking group (the vest or tag must match the handler's identification).
Days and times that commercial dog walking can take place at the park:
Monday–Friday, 9–11 am & 2–4 pm | Saturday, 10 am–1 pm
Commercial dog walking is not allowed at the park on Sundays or statutory holidays at this time.
Commercial dog walking annual permit fee: $500 plus tax - All outstanding fees and fines owed to Delta must be paid, prior to issuance of the Delta commercial dog walking permit.
Off-Leash Locations and Maps
- North 40 Park Reserve
- Paterson Park
- Cougar Canyon Environmental Reserve
- Delview Park
- Devon Gardens Park
- Huff Hydro Park Reserve
- Scott 72 Park Reserve
- North Delta Recreation Centre
- Beach Grove Park
- Boundary Beach Park Reserve
- Dennison Park
- Pebble Hill Park
Part of the Delta Community Animal Shelter initiative is to help educate the public on animal care and support. The Learning Centre is where you will find various types of information on animal care including care sessions that we regularly conduct at the shelter.
It is very exciting to welcome a new cat into your home. The adventure of getting to know each other begins the minute you choose each other in the shelter. There are a few things to keep in mind when introducing your new cat to his/her new life.
Although a shelter is not the ideal forever home for cats the shelter is the only home your new cat has known for quite sometime. When s/he came in to the shelter s/he had to adapt to a new routine, new sounds and smells and forever changing visitors. Although your cat was making the best of the situation and was doing well in the shelter, the transition from his/her old life to shelter life has taken time and diligence on the staff's part. It has been very important to make sure s/he is healthy and not suffering from too much stress, as stress can lead to illness during this next transition.
It can be a big scary world outside the shelter and now it is your time to help assist your cat to deal with another transition (into your home). You can encourage a smooth and stress-free transition by following a few simple guidelines.
Reinforce the Feeling of Safety
Introduce the cat to his/her new home slowly. Set up one room in your house as the cat's safe place. Choose a quiet room (such as the bathroom) away from the excitement of kids, dinner preparations and loud television sets. Place the cat's litter-box in one corner and food/water dishes in the other corner. Make a cozy bed. Ensure there are no safety issues in the room you have chosen (such as electrical cables hanging in a spare TV room, or the toilet seat left up in the washroom).
Initially put the cat carrier into the already prepared room. Leave the carrier in the room with a towel on top of it. This will allow the cat to either hide when it wants or perch on top when it wants. Open the door and let the cat come out in his/her own time. Don't reach for the cat. Let him/her come to you. Visit with the cat in this room for the first day (or longer if the cat seems to be extra nervous). If s/he doesn't eat for the first day don't worry. Be sure that fresh wet and dry food is available, along with water.
IMPORTANT NOTE: After two days if the cat is still not eating you will need to seek veterinary advice. If you are fostering the cat please contact the shelter staff for direction. If you have adopted a new cat, a voucher for a free veterinary exam was provided to you and should be utilized if your cat is not eating. It is important that cats do not go without food for 3 days as this can result in a life threatening disease.
Once your new cat seems comfortable (eating, seeking affection and exploring more) you can then open the door to the rest of the house and let him/her explore at his/her own pace. However, it is recommended that the cat stay in the "safe room" when you are not at home or when you are not interacting with him/her for at least one week. This will help the cat get to know the smells and sounds of their new home, or new animal friends, but from a safe distance. Also, being close to food/water and litter will reinforce eating and elimination habits.
Multiple Pet Introductions
If you have another cat/dog in the house ask the shelter staff or your veterinarian for information about how to perform a successful introduction between your new pet and your original pet(s).
Judging Your New Cat's Personality
Living in a cage or one room in the shelter is not the most ideal for your cat to develop and show his/her relaxed and natural behaviour/personality. Reinforce good behaviour and discourage bad behaviour by setting up your home for your new cat's success. Statistically your new cat will have completed the transition and will be showing true personality traits and habits after three months - so be patient! Your cat will appreciate your understanding and support!
Problem behaviours can often be attributed to the stress of the transition.
1. FURNITURE SCRATCHING: Cats scratch to sharpen their claws (done by stripping off the old shell to reveal a new one) and to mark their territory. They will do this on any material they can get traction from.
Cats are most eager to scratch after waking up. By placing a cat scratch/post/tree beside the cat's favorite sleeping place you will reduce the chance of the cat using your furniture to satisfy this need. Also showing your new cat where to scratch is helpful. Hold them near the post and scratch their claws on the surface. Putting catnip in and around the scratching post will also help to encourage your cat to use it.
Scratching is a normal behaviour for a cat and should only be discouraged because of the location chosen, not the activity itself. A spray bottle (water only) is a good way to surprise your cat when s/he is doing a negative behaviour. Try to make it so the cat does not associate the spray with you but rather with the action they are doing. One way this can be done is by hiding around a corner when you do the spraying and only spray once to interrupt the behaviour. Try to immediately redirect the negative behaviour to a positive alternative. Be sure to stay consistent with your rules and have a cat scratch/pad in every room of the house.
2. KING OF THE CASTLE: Your old home is now your new cat's castle. As with every king/queen they like to be able to know what is happening in their kingdom. Check your home to see if there are raised surfaces for the cat. If the answer is "no," make some! Cats need to be able to jump up and survey their territory. This is natural cat behaviour and part of owning a cat. Do you have valuable mementos that are easily broken? Put them away until your cat is happily moved in. Check out all the nooks and crannies. Are there places that could be dangerous for the cat to explore or hide in? If so, block them off.
3. NIPS AND NIBBLES: As your new cat has to learn about your expectations you too will have to learn about his/her expectations. Cats have preferences about their interactions, and how they are touched just as people do. As your new cat learns to trust you they will begin to welcome your affection more. Don't be surprised or put off if your new cat gives you negative feed back by a nip or scratch in the first few months. Realize that it comes from a place of personal protection or from play. Take note of what triggered the behavior and try to avoid that type of interaction or reassess a safer way to play. Play is important to cats and should be encouraged as it brings out the natural instincts of hunting and will offer an outlet to reduce stress.
Take your time getting to know your new cat and utilize resources to help ensure a successful friendship. If you have any questions seek answers through your veterinarian or Delta Community Animal Shelter staff. We are here to help!
Congratulations on your new family member!
Making the decision to adopt a dog does not come easily. We know you have thought carefully about the responsibility and commitment of nurturing your new family member. Your dedication in the next few months will bring years of faithful companionship, joy, and unconditional love.
Your first few days and weeks may be challenging for both you and your new dog. Be patient, consistent and loving, but be a leader as well! The more structure you give your dog in the first few weeks the more your dog will easily adjust to his new home. Anxiety will be reduced when your dog can predict his environment and what is expected of him/her.
Be sure the home environment is stress free and calm when you arrive with the dog. Show him/her right away where to eliminate outside and give him/her lots of praise when he/she goes to the bathroom outside of the house.
Always keep an eye on your new dog to keep him/her out of trouble. It is our job to ensure success and we bare sole responsibility for the transition into the home. If your dog is okay with going into a crate then use this to confine your new dog for short periods (no longer than 4 hours) of time when you cannot watch him/her. If you use a crate ensure it is big enough to stand up, turn around and lie down again. In addition, always use treats when encouraging your dog into a crate, and ensure your dog goes to the bathroom before being put in a crate and when let out.
Start right away with teaching your dog appropriate behavior. Do not wait to let him/her "settle in" because often times they come with behaviors we do not like, which is why they ended up at the shelter. It takes approximately 4 weeks for a dog to bond with a new owner, so now is the time to begin establishing boundaries and leadership.
As soon as you bring your dog home, immediately take him/her to his/her elimination spot outside and give him/her a command to go to the bathroom. Once s/he has eliminated then you can bring him/her into the home and let him/her check things out.
Once he/she has settled a bit, then you want to begin doing some quick departures and arrivals so s/he gets used to you coming and going. Just step outside of the house and close the door for a few seconds, then come back into the house. Repeat this exercise at least 10 times, increasing the duration and working up to 5 minutes. This will teach him/her that you will always come back after you leave. Be very casual about departures and arrivals. Do not make a big fuss about coming and going. Ignore your dog until after s/he has calmed down.
- When you are out, leave the TV or radio on low volume for comforting background noise.
- ALWAYS supervise children in the presence of the new dog. Never leave them alone together for at least a few months.
- Don't let your dog off leash until your dog has perfect recall and will come back to you EVERY time.
Also, don't take your dog out to the dog park until you have established how s/he reacts to other dogs – usually a month or more. Dog parks can be difficult for dogs. Instead set up a few "playdates" with one or two dogs at your home or theirs. Introduce the dogs by going for a long walk first and seek professional help if you are unsure of how it will go.
A little bit about dog psychology….
How a dog thinks:
Dogs are social animals and need daily affection and attention. They also need to know what is expected of them so they can succeed in making the right choice. You can teach a dog appropriate behavior through proper leadership as a dog owner. You do not need to be "dominant" because this will break down your relationship with your dog. You need to be a good leader by teaching your dog that appropriate behaviors earn rewards and inappropriate behaviors do not. You want to create a cooperative relationship with your dog based on respect and trust.
It is imperative that you establish yourself as the leader by shaping your dog's behavior in a positive way using whatever motivates your dog, such as food, affection or play. The dog will begin to be less fearful of new experiences because it does not have to rely on itself for its own safety. That is now your job as the leader!
Learn to lead:
A good leader does not need to be frightening or violent in order to get compliance from a dog. A leader needs to guide their dog and create an environment where they can succeed and make few mistakes. By using the following training guidelines, you will establish yourself as the leader in a loving and non-threatening way.
Teach your dog to ask for things:
- Say please for meals: By making your dog sit and then releasing him/her with a "Fido, OK!" before he eats reinforces the fact that you are the leader. Do not allow him to free feed or dive into the food without your OK or he will think s/he is in control. You can also take it to the next level by hand feeding him/her.
- Say please to go outside: Before going for a walk, have the dog sit, then put his/her collar and leash on, and then open the door. Do not allow the dog to move unless you release him/her with the "Fido, OK!", to let him go outside.
- Say please for treats: Ask the dog to sit before getting a treat. Only do this when you are NOT doing a formal training session. Training should be done with praise as the only reward.
- Say please for a greeting: When your dog runs to greet you, have him/her sit before touching him/her. If s/he tries to jump on you, say "No!" and turn your back on him/her (don't push him/her away with your hands as hands represent affection). If s/he sits, the say "Good dog!" and turn back to greet him/her. Keep repeating this until s/he sits politely to be greeted.
- Say please for attention: This reduces the possibility of a dog jumping on you during greetings.
Thank you to Amber Cottle for assistance with this handout!
Barking is a behaviour problem that can range from an occasional annoyance to a constant problem that causes owners to reluctantly surrender their dogs to already over-crowded animal shelters.
There are many different ways to handle a barking problem. The first and most important step in solving this problem is to identify 'why' the dog is barking. Many dogs bark out of anxiety, boredom, or loneliness. They are seeking human contact and attention. If you change the situation that causes the barking behaviour, you will reduce the problem.
Here are some strategies to try:
- If your dog is kept outside for the majority of the time try bringing him/her inside and teaching him/her how to behave in the house. Dogs are social animals and they have a need to live with their pack (their owners). By leaving the dog alone in a backyard you are isolating the dog from the pack and as a result the dog is going to bark. By bringing the dog inside with the family, you will make a big impact on solving boredom, loneliness and anxiety.
- If your dog is barking inside of your home while you are away then the dog needs to be given something to do. He/she is likely acting out of boredom or anxiety because you are not home. Taking your dog for a walk to train him/her prior to leaving will make his/her brain tired. Also, try getting some different dog toys and rotating them on different days. Filling up a "kong" type of toy with delicious doggie treats and a small amount of peanut butter will keep a dog so busy he/she will never notice that you are leaving the house! Leaving a radio or T.V. on softly as background noise also helps to reduce a dog's anxiety.
- Dog trainers can provide you with many solutions for barking and work with your specific dogs personality.
Barking is a problem that affects everyone and it is your responsibility as a responsible pet owner to ensure you have a dog that is not a nuisance to your neighbours. By keeping a quiet dog in your life you will have a healthier relationship with your neighbours and more enjoyment of owning your pet.
What NOT to Do:
- Do not encourage a dog to bark at sounds, such as pedestrians or dogs passing by a home, birds outside the window, children playing in the street and car doors slamming, by saying “Who’s there?” or getting up and looking out the windows.
- Do not punish a dog for barking at certain sounds, like car doors slamming and kids playing in the street, but then encourage him to bark at other sounds, like people at the door. Guardian’s must be consistent!
- Unless a Certified Applied Animal Behaviourist or veterinary behaviourist advises to do otherwise, never use punishment procedures if a dog is barking out of fear or anxiety. This could make him feel worse and, as a result, his barking might increase.
- Never use a muzzle to keep a dog quiet for long periods of time or when not actively supervising him. Dogs can’t eat, drink or pant to cool themselves while wearing muzzles, so making a dog wear one for long periods of time would be inhumane.
- Never tie a dog’s muzzle closed with rope, cord, rubber bands or anything else. Doing this is dangerous, painful and inhumane.
For more information other strategies, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has further information on addressing Barking.
If you do not see success with these, consult with your veterinarian for further advice, it could be something medical causing the barking or the anxiety/fear may be such that medications are required to help.
Muzzles are an often misunderstood tool for keeping your dog safe.
Many people view dogs wearing muzzles as either aggressive or "bad," even scary for some people. The fact is that pet guardians muzzle their dogs for many reasons intended to keep their animals safe and happy.
Dogs might wear muzzles because:
- They eats rocks, socks, or other non-food items that can be toxic or cause expensive and life-threatening surgeries.
- They is nervous of new situations or other pets with the muzzle helping keep everyone safe during outdoor activities or walks.
- The muzzle works as a cue to tell other owners to give the dog some space.
- The owner wants to teach their dog to be comfortable wearing a muzzle in case the dog must wear one someday at the vet's office.
A properly-fitted basket muzzle can do the above and a lot more! Best of all, if you take the time to train & reward your dog to wear the muzzle, it should become a positive experience for both your dog and you!
DOGS NEED TIME OFF THE CHAIN TO LEARN GOOD BEHAVIOUR
Published With Permission from Dr. Marty Becker
Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service
Every time I drive the 16 miles from my ranch to my hometown, I pass dogs that are chained to a tree, to a doghouse or to a stake driven into the ground.
In the six years I've lived here, I've never seen them run free. Sadly, millions of other pets across the country share their fate. I always feel sadness for the dogs' plight. I also feel frustration at their caretakers' lack of understanding that chaining a dog all the time can have serious consequences for the pet and its guardian.
"Dogs are social animals," says Janice Willard, veterinary ethologist from Moscow, Idaho. "They need to have company to live normal, healthy lives. Most dogs live in a human family that fills their biological need for companionship. But a chained, solitary dog is in the worst of circumstances. Not only are they starved for social contact, but often they have poor social skills from lack of experience. And they often live in a state of sensory deprivation. Their environment is barren, and they have nothing to explore or play with. They have nothing to do but pace the tiny space allotted to them. Or they become frustrated by the tantalizing world just out of their reach, increasing their anxiety and agitation."
The worst punishment for people in prison is solitary confinement, while the military uses the silent treatment as a nonviolent but highly effective means of reprimand. But these are only temporary measures; a dog may be committed to the same treatment for most of its life. What crimes did these dogs commit to deserve such a fate?
If you need to secure your dog, get a big fence. If you need a security system, install an electronic one. If you want a dog but aren't willing to love it and consider its needs, get a stuffed one.
Chaining a dog all the time is no way to treat a thinking, breathing, trusting, loving creature.
Delta Animal Control Bylaw 6893, 2010 outlines tethering and chaining regulations:
No Responsible Person shall cause or permit an animal to be left unattended while tethered or tied on premises to which the public has access, whether the access is expressed or implied.
Every person who keeps a domestic animal must provide it with the opportunity for exercise sufficient to maintain good health, including the opportunity to be untethered and exercised regularly under appropriate control
No person may cause, permit or allow and animals:
(a) to be hitched, tied, or fastened to a fixed object where a choke collar forms part of the securing apparatus, or where a rope or cord is tied directly around the animal's neck;
(b) to be hitched, tied or fastened to a fixed or heavy object where the securing device fails to allow the animal the ability to turn around freely and to easily stand, sit and lie in a normal position
(c) cause, an animal to be tethered, tied or fastened to a fixed or heavy object for more than 4 hours within a 24 hour period while it is on the property of the person responsible for the animal
Ticket Amounts Per Offence:
Depending on the severity of the offence either a ticket may be written or the bylaw inspector may proceed with Court charges:
$100.00 Section 26
$200.00 Section 35 (d)
$200.00 Section 37 (a)
$200.00 Section 73 (b)
$200.00 Section 37 (c)
Have you walked your dog today?
Is your home or fenced yard a haven, or a prison for your dog? Ideally, every dog should have access to a safe place in which to play and relax. Although fenced yards provide room for some exercise and play, too many owners assume that their dogs receive enough exercise within the boundaries of the yard.
Some owners never take their dogs for a walk and deprive themselves of many of the pleasures of pet ownership. One of the great myths of dog ownership is the need for a huge amount of space when really what a dog needs is your time.
Every dog, no matter what breed or size, deserves at least two walks a day and every owner will benefit from providing this exercise.
Why is walking your dog so important?
Time together, especially active time together, provides an opportunity for dog and owner to interact and establish mutual communication and a strong bond of affection.
Dogs on a walk also get to socialize with other dogs. This is especially beneficial for puppies that have had all their vaccines; they learn the rules of canine social interaction from meeting older dogs.
Most dogs will not run around a home and/or fenced yard enough to get the exercise they need. Your dog may run up and down the fence line barking at a passing stranger two or three times a day, but unless your yard is the size of a football field, that is not much exercise. If you and your dog walk a kilometre or more a day, you will both benefit by building strength and endurance, burning off calories, breathing fresh air and discovering what's new in the neighbourhood.
House and yard dogs get bored. Walk past a fenced yard and watch the resident dog race along the fence line, press its face through the links, bark, pant, whimper and practically turn somersaults to get your attention. Imagine being able to see a park, alley, or vacant lot from your home or yard but never getting the chance to explore it. No wonder dogs get frustrated! They deserve some variety in their lives, which daily walks can supply.
If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for your dog!
It is always important to check the weather conditions before you set out. A dog's temperature tolerance depends on many factors, including size, amount and type of fur, and breed. Speak to your veterinarian about the particular exercise needs and temperature tolerance of your dog. There are many types of boots and coats now available for dogs of any size.
Scheduling your walks during the warmest time of the day in winter and the coolest time of day in the summer will lessen the chance of frost bite and heat exhaustion for both of you.