Animal Responsibility

Elkford’s Animal Responsibility Bylaw governs responsible animal ownership and treatment of wildlife within the District of Elkford.

Responsible animal ownership and treatment of wildlife is an important part of living in Elkford. The District’s Animal Responsibility Bylaw outlines the rules and regulations for keeping animals in Elkford. 

Read the Animal Responsibility Bylaw

*** Disclaimer: Bylaws are provided online for research and educational purposes only. The PDF documents are not official copies of our bylaws and these documents not admissible in a court of law. The District of Elkford will, in no event, be held liable or responsible for damages of any kind that arise from reference to, or use of, these bylaws online.
Please contact to request official copies for usage in a court of law. ***


To report animal cruelty or abuse anywhere in British Columbia:

  • To report an animal in distress (farm animals, domestic animals and wildlife), please call the BC SPCA Animal Helpline: 1.855.622.7722, open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days per week (excluding statutory holidays).  Outside of these hours, the BC SPCA website advises reporting animal welfare-related emergencies to local RCMP (for domestic or farm animals) or the BC Conservation Officer Service (for wildlife). 

Visit the BC SPCA website for more detailed information on reporting animal cruelty or abuse.


Here are some important things for pet owners in Elkford to remember:

  • Dogs and cats must be licensed for the current calendar year and be wearing the corresponding tag. Licences are valid from January 1 to December 31 and can be purchased at the District Office. Failure to comply with this bylaw will result in fines of $50 or more.
  • Please be considerate of your neighbours and attentive to your dog’s needs. Noisy (i.e., continuously barking) dogs are subject to fines of $100 or more. 
  • Pick up after your pets! Failure to remove and dispose of your pet’s waste results in fines of $50 or more. Many District parks and trails are equipped with dog waste bags and waste receptacles for your convenience.
  • The District of Elkford currently has no designated off-leash areas for pets, meaning that dogs and cats must always be kept on leash and under control. Unless on private property, unleashed pets will be considered “at-large,” and owners will be fined $50 or more. Many people feel that this bylaw does not apply to them because their dog is friendly, or their cat is accustomed to living indoors/outdoors, but it is in place to keep you, your pet, other humans, local wildlife and other pets in your neighbourhood safe.
  • Allowing your dog to harass, injure or kill wildlife is illegal in the District of Elkford—and across British Columbia—under the B.C. Wildlife Act.
  • Be a responsible pet owner. In British Columbia, this means providing all animals in your care with veterinary treatment and necessities such as sufficient food, clean water and adequate shelter. Animals must also have adequate light, ventilation, space, exercise and protection from excessive heat and cold. 
  • If you are unable to care for a pet, please contact a local animal rescue or the East Kootenay branch of the B.C. SPCA for assistance. Several registered animal rescue organizations operate in the Elk Valley—including Twin Meadows Animal Rescue Society, a foster-based animal rescue that operates in Fernie/Sparwood/Elkford—and they can assist you (or connect you with someone who can). Abandoning or dumping a domestic animal to fend for itself is not only unethical, but it is illegal in British Columbia as per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

For more information, or to file a bylaw-related complaint, contact Bylaw Enforcement at 250.865.4024 or