Animal Control and Wildlife

Animal Control and Wildlife

The City of Port Alberni has established rules and regulations to control pets and other animals within the City. These regulations have been established by Council through various policies and bylaws to provide for the enjoyment and protection of the community's general population.   Enforcement of the animal control policies and regulations for the City has been contracted to the S.P.C.A. (Alberni-Clayoquot Branch) located at:

4936 Broughton St. Port Alberni, B.C.  V9Y 8R5
(250) 723-5269     Email:  alberni@spca.bc.ca 

Please see the information below regarding pets and other animals. 
 

If you have a dog you should know:

  • Any dog over the age of six months must have a valid license for the current calendar year.  Your Dog License must be purchased at City Hall. See the Fees and Charges  for Animal Control and Licensing to determine how much your license will cost.
  • Dogs in public places, except in the off-leash park located on Beaver Creek Road, must be kept on a leash, chain or tether not exceeding 183 cm (6ft) in length and under the immediate care and control of a competent person. 
  • If you lose your dog's license tag a replacement license tag may be obtained upon satisfying the City that the original license tag has been lost or stolen and upon payment of the replacement license fee.
  • If your animal defecates on a highway or public place, the person having care, custody, or control of the animal shall immediately remove the excrement and dispose of it in a sanitary manner.

      Dog Tag Application Form.
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If you have a cat you should know:

  • You do not need a license for your cat, however, every owner of a cat shall affix, and keep affixed, sufficient identification on the cat by a collar, harness, tattoo, microchip or other suitable device such that a person finding the cat at large in the City can identify and contact the owner.  
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If you are keeping chickens on your property you should know:

As part of City efforts to help you get involved in your own food production, you can now keep chickens in your backyard.  There are several important rules you need to comply with in order to keep your backyard chicken coop from being a nuisance for your neighbours: 

  • The keeping of male poultry is prohibited, except on A.L.R. lands or on parcels greater than 2,000 m2 (21,528 sq ft) in area;
  • The keeping of female poultry is prohibited on lots less than 350 m2 (3,767 sq ft) in area;
  • The keeping of up to six (6) female poultry in enclosed runs is permitted on lots less than 2,000 m2 (21,528 sq ft) but more than 450 m2 (4,844 sq ft) in size. When the lot is less than 450 m2 (4,844 sq ft), no more than four (4) female poultry may be kept;
  • Runs shall provide at least 0.8 m2 (8.5 sq ft) of space per bird and coops of at least 0.2 m2 (2 sq ft) of space per bird;
  • A building or structure used for the keeping of poultry must not be located in the front yard, and must be located at least 3 m (10 ft) from any lot line;
  • Note:  These regulations do not apply to properties with farm status classification under the BC Assessment Act.   
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If you are keeping bees on your property you should know:

Urban beekeeping is permitted in Single Family Residential areas and is an excellent way to improve pollination for plants in backyard, community, and public gardens, which leads to better vegetable production.  With good management practices, beekeeping is completely safe in residential areas. If you are interested in keeping bees in your yard, there are two steps you need to follow:

  1. Review the City's beekeeping guidelines.
  2. Register your beehive with the Province of BC.

Step 1: Review the City’s beekeeping guidelines

Before you decide to keep bees, read and understand the City’s regulations that help keep beekeeping safe for residential areas, and explain your responsibilities as a beekeeper:

  • The keeping of bees on lots less than 600 m2 (6,458 sq ft) in area is prohibited;
  • The keeping of bees is permitted to a maximum of 2 hives of bees on lots between 600 m2 and 929 m2 (10,000 sq ft) in area, and a maximum of 4 hives of bees on lots over 929 m2 (10,000 sq ft) in area;
  • Beehives are restricted to rear yards;
  • A beehive will be located a minimum of 7.5 m (25 feet) away from the neighbouring property line;
  • The beehive entrance will be directed away from the neighbouring property and situated behind a solid fence or hedge that is 1.8 m (6 feet) in height running parallel to the property line;
  • All persons wishing to keep bees must be registered with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, and abide by the beekeeping regulations as specified in the provincial Bee Act and other related legislation.
  • Note:  These regulations do not apply to properties with farm status classification under the BC Assessment Act.

Step 2: Register your beehive with the Province of BC

Once you set up your beehives, you must register them with the Province of BC:

Register your beehives with the Province     

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Wildlife:

Port Alberni is home to bears and other urban wildlife. As the City's population and urban areas grow, habitat and natural food sources available for wildlife diminish. This is why we find these animals in our neighbourhoods, seeking out garbage for food and our backyards for shelter. This makes it an ideal location to live, not only for us, but for many types of wildlife including: deer, raccoons, cougars, and squirrels.

These animals are part of our environment, but can become pests and unwanted visitors if we attract them to public and private property. It is important that we avoid inviting wildlife to our properties by removing attractants and limiting access to areas that wildlife may use as a den such as under or in sheds or wood piles.  Garbage is not healthy for bears and wildlife. When bears learn that garbage means food, they return to it again and again. To reduce bears and urban wildlife coming into the neighbourhood, remove attractants from your backyard that could provide food and shelter for these animals

Alberni Valley Bear Smart

How to Wildlife-proof Your Home and Property
  • Keep garbage out of reach
  • Use animal resistant Garbage Cans
  • Don't plant fruit-bearing trees and shrubs
  • Remove bird feeders
  • Compost responsibly
  • Remove attractants from your backyard

Report any sightings:

If you encounter threatening wildlife that is aggressive, breaking into buildings or causing property damage, please call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277

Deer: only if critically injured or trapped (animal must be immobile / contained)
Cougars / Bears / Wolves: if sighted in urban area or threat to public safety

Call North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre if a small wild animal is Sick, Injured, Orphaned, or Trapped.

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Frequently Asked Questions:
 

1. Where can I obtain emergency veterinarian service?
The Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital is located at 6550 Metral Drive, Nanaimo, BC across from Home Depot.   They can be reached at 250-933-0913 or Toll free at 1-877-773-7079
 
2. Is there a spay/neuter program in Port Alberni?
All pets should be spayed or neutered for the well being of the animal and to prevent unwanted pets. Cats over the age of six months must be spayed or neutered with some exceptions.  Contact the BC SPCA Alberni-Clayoquot Branch for information on Spay/Neuter Assistance.  All cats within Port Alberni are eligible for a discounted or free surgery. 
 
3. Who do I contact regarding dead animals on public property and city streets?
Contact the City Works Yard at 250-720-2840
 
4. What do I do if I witness an animal being abused?
Note all the circumstances, time, place etc. and call the SPCA (Alberni-Clayoquot Branch
Animal Abuse / Neglect ► S.P.C.A. Cruelty Hotline: 1 (855) 622-7722
 
5. What are the licensing fees and fines in Port Alberni?
See the Animal Control and Licensing Fees and Fines
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For more information, please contact
Tim Hautzinger
Business Licencing and Bylaw Enforcement Officer

City Hall, 4850 Argyle Street
Port Alberni BC V9Y 1V8

Telephone: 
250-720-2831
250-206-0025 (mobile)