SURREY (NEWS1130) – The founder of a controversial animal rescue group wants Surrey city council to ban people from chaining dogs in their yards.

Janet Olson with A Better Life Dog Rescue (ABLDR) says it’s a practice that should be against the law.

“It’s our belief that the reason people get guard dogs is because they’re cheap,” Olson said.

“All they have to do is buy a length of chain and a dog house, maybe not even that, and put them on the end of it.  Then they can leave them there for the rest of their lives and they have a very cheap alarm system.  If they had to build a fence to contain the dog, then it’s no longer cheap.  That would discourage a lot of people from getting a dog for that reason.”

Olson and two other women are requesting to make their case to council at an upcoming meeting. They want to make the same pitch to other municipalities, the province and the federal government.

ABLDR has come under fire lately over accusations made by the RCMP. Olson and the organization’s co-director Louise Reid were arrested in November. They are accused of stealing a bulldog named Samson from a home in Port Coquitlam.

“Olson and Reid were operating their charitable not for profit organization beyond the scope of its mandate and allegedly unlawfully acting beyond their good will intentions,” said Cpl. Drew Grainger with Surrey RCMP.

A news release issued by ABLDR soon after the arrest called the RCMP’s claims completely false.

Several more charges have been laid against Olson since she was arrested. She is now accused of stealing dogs from homes in Abbotsford, Richmond, White Rock and Surrey. Her case goes to trial in May.

Olson says the case should have no bearing on whether she can make a presentation to Surrey city councillors.

“I don’t know why that should have anything to do with it,” Olson said.  “If it was someone else presenting this to the council meeting, would they listen then?”

ABLDR’s website says each dog is “legitimately acquired and legally the ‘property’ of ABLDR (although we are greatly resistant to the attitude that dogs are considered and treated as property).”

The website says the organization has been able to rescue and rehome over 1,000 dogs to date.