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People with too many pets in social housing could cost DSSAB $100K a year

Aldo Ruberto has some bite to back up his bark when it comes to pet issues in the city. The at-large councillor has been lobbying colleagues for months to find a way to deal with people who have a problem with too many pets.
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Aldo Ruberto has some bite to back up his bark when it comes to pet issues in the city.

The at-large councillor has been lobbying colleagues for months to find a way to deal with people who have a problem with too many pets. On Thursday the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board saw a for-information only report that stated more than a dozen issues are being dealt with right now in social housing.

Those problems range from constant barking to feces in hallways and elevators.

In one case an apartment unit with a dozen cats was left with more than $30,000 in damage.

Acting CAO Bill Bradica said he doesn't have an exact figure, but pet issues could be costing the board around $100,000 a year.

"In some cases it does lead to eviction for the safety of others in the building," he said.

Bradica added that there's not much the DSSAB can do legally other than have meighbours report to city bylaw officers when there's an issue.

Ruberto said the report confirms what he's been saying all along and not just in social housing but across the city. While a majority of pet owners are responsible, there are a few who are causing health and safety concerns for everyone else.

"DSSAB would like to do something but we do need the municipality to get involved," he said.

He's hoping that this will help city council when it discusses the city's bylaw enforcement and perhaps hire more officers to deal with pet and numerous other issues.

"We could hire a hundred, I think and they'd still be busy," Ruberto said.