May 16, 2014 - 4:18 PM
KELOWNA - Poop has long been a source of endless humour with kids, now a new sign strategy by the RDCO is attempting to make it funny for adults as well.
Rather than warning about fines, the doggy doo-not plan uses friendly reminders to educate pet owners and encourage responsibility.
Communications officer Bruce Smith says dog feces in public places is not only unsanitary, it is also the most common type of complaint they receive and they have decided to try a different strategy to try and curb the behaviour.
“Those dog owners that fail to clean up their dog’s poop don’t do any favours for those that do and can give all dog owners a bad name,” he says. “While picking up and leashing are required from all dog owners in the Central Okanagan under the Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw, we believe that a light-hearted, message will have more impact, resulting in more dog owners controlling their pets in public places.”
The district has placed signs along the Mission Creek Greenway in Kelowna with messages like “If your dog poops but nobody is watching, you still need to pick it up,” and “Make sure your dog doesn’t drop anything. The signs are designed to encourage responsible behaviour without resorting to threats of fines and other punishments.
The Regional District will also be introducing Dog Ambassadors and volunteer Parks VIP Patrollers to the community this summer. Smith says the goal of these programs is to educate dog owners and park users and encourage responsible behavior.
“We want to acknowledge dog owners that have made responsible choices while giving those that haven’t a chance to understand what’s expected of them so that they choose to comply with our Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw, avoiding any future financial enforcement consequences,” Smith says.
Dog owners are also reminded that failing to properly leash or pick up after their pets could result in fines under the new Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw. Fines of $300 will also be handed out to anyone found with an unlicensed dog.
Licenses are available at all local government offices, the Regional Dog Pound and the Kelowna SPCA branch.
For more information on dog licensing and responsible dog ownership in the Central Okanagan, visit the Regional District’s website.
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