The Rural Municipality of Ritchot has brought in an enforcement agency to handle animal complaints.

According to Chief Administrative Officer Mitch Duval, it has now been about three months since they brought on Robert Zacharias of the Morris area to deal with animal related issues.

Mayor Chris Ewen says prior to him being hired by the municipality, Ritchot had no one to handle these issues, even though there were some significant occurrences.

"Things like cats coming around other peoples' yards," says Ewen. "But the bigger ones are dog bites. We've seen a dog bite or two recently."

According to Ewen, back in the day, Ritchot had an animal bylaw officer that handled these types of issues. Then, Ritchot switched to a new bylaw enforcement.

"And in light of recent occurrences, actually some significant ones, we realized that we didn't have an animal bylaw officer back in place, so we recently reviewed our animal bylaw policies, we brought in a new enforcement agency to take care of any animal issues," notes Ewen.

He says the arrival of Zacharias was long overdue.

"Yes, absolutely," says Ewen. "I think most municipalities need an animal bylaw policy and agency to overlook and see what's going on."

He notes this is a contracted service, similar to Ritchot's bylaw enforcement.

"There's a lot of issues that we see frequently that we weren't able to deal with," he says. "And that's just because we were missing that one small piece of the puzzle."