Reform BC Dog Laws: Stop Arbitrary Seizures, Euthanasia and Provide Access to Justice

We are pleased to share the petition and documentary below regarding the seizure and euthanasia of dogs. Companion animals have been recognized as more than inanimate property in BC’s family law. Let’s see their status improved in other legislation too. Please take a moment to read the petition and watch one of the videos. We have included both a full documentary and also the shorter “highlights” video as posted on YouTube by “TheyTookMyDog”.

Image by Randy Rodriguez from Pixabay

Note:  This Petition may only be signed by British Columbia residents. Please complete your postal code to ensure your voice is heard!

BC’s animal control system is unaccountable and extremely difficult to navigate for the average citizen. Dogs can be accused, seized, detained in inappropriate conditions and destroyed by animal control officers at their own discretion.  Municipal animal control Authorities and the courts struggle to interpret and apply vaguely written provincial laws while dog guardians scramble to save their lives.  

This can happen to any dog, and anyone with a dog in their life: purebred, rescue, any breed, any DNA, any size, any color, any history, any training, any temperament, reactive or calm or both.

There are many scenarios where a dog can be pushed into making a mistake, or reacting: mid-play, post-play, over-excitement, fear-based, hunger, pain, illness, anxiety, self-defence. Has your dog ever accidentally side-swiped someone while running? Chased a ball and landed on a person?  And finally there’s ‘justifiable provocation’ – someone too close to your dog’s face? Pulled their tail? Missed the dog’s body language to leave them alone?  Every dog has been there. Every dog guardian has been there too.

If your dog is accused, the context of the incident is critical for defence but can be dismissed and/or out of reach in our system that is “stacked against dogs and dog guardians.” (Rebeka Breder, Animal Law Lawyer)  

Many citizen groups have tried for legislative change, but failed. We call on the B.C. government to finally re-write companion animal laws to balance public safety and fairness to dogs and their families.

Dogs are sentient beings, not fixtures.  Please add your voice for change, thank you!


To the Honourable the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, in Legislature Assembled: 

The petition of the undersigned, concerned citizens and dog guardians, of the Province of British Columbia, states that: 


The rights of dog guardians are severely compromised by the prospect of enormous financial burden and lengthy confinement of their dogs (without bail) in inappropriate short-term facilities, resulting in physical and emotional trauma to both dogs and guardians. Some guardians are forced to surrender their dogs for ‘euthanasia’ due to financial constraints and/or to spare their dog’s suffering in long-term confinement;


The Province of British Columbia amended the Family Law Act (effective January 15, 2024) where the “best interests” of “companion animals” are now considered, indicating that they are no longer treated exclusively as property;


The Community Charter, Section 49 special powers in relation to dangerous dogs lacks the detail and clarity necessary for judicial authorities to decide on applications to destroy dogs to the extent that in the BC Court of Appeal ruling “Santics v. Vancouver (City) Animal Control Officer, 2019 BCCA 294” referenced other provinces whose legislation provides for conditional and interim orders (bail). The “Santics” ruling removed the BC judiciary’s ability to issue conditional orders;

Your petitioners respectfully request that the Honourable House review and amend Section 49 of the Community Charter and related legislation to provide transparency, accountability and oversight; clarity, humane reforms and fairness to dogs, guardians and the public; and to recognize that a dog’s best interests are worthy of consideration in all aspects.

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