Cobourg resident asks for clemency for her dogs

By Cecilia Nasmith

Cobourg council this week referred a Park Street resident's request for an exemption to the Animal Control Bylaw to Legislative Services for a report to assist them in making a determination.

Linda MacDonald has been served with papers requiring her to downsize her pet population to two from four. The first time she was served, MacDonald said she was given to understand that it would be acceptable to accomplish this through attrition. The second time, she tried registering two of the dogs in her name and two in a friend's name. She blamed a disgruntled tenant in her building for being served a third time.

Two of her dogs, four-year-olds in reasonably good health, were obtained in anticipation of losing their two older dogs – a nine-year-old with heart disease and a 14-year-old who may not be around much longer.

All are toy fox terriers ranging in size from three to seven pounds. All are spayed and neutered and up to date on vaccinations. They are also well supervised, she said, and never free to bother anyone.

MacDonald is terrified of losing two of her precious pets, whom she considers family.

“And how do you choose which two? I'm heartbroken,” her letter said.

MacDonald pledged to abide by whatever council determines, but did attach seven letters of support from fellow tenants and neighbours.

Councillor Aaron Burchat noted that he had had discussions with an individual who opposes such an exemption.

“I have indicated to that individual to write to the clerk, as well as that they were welcome to do a delegation,” Burchat said.

“Anyone out there with concerns, it's best to address your concerns to the town clerk,” Mayor John Henderson agreed.