August 01, 2013 - 7:41 PM
KELOWNA – If you have a dog with a valid 2013 license expect to find something special in your mailbox.
All qualifying pet owners are now automatically enrolled in the My Dog Matters rewards program which fetches you savings on everyday pet purchases.
Discounts on anything from groomers to pet stores, doggy daycare, veterinarians, even hotels and restaurants are included in the program. The incentives are a win-win for both pet owners and participating businesses through promotion of their products and services.
Regional District of the Central Okanagan spokesperson Bruce Smith says it's a big step forward in encouraging responsible dog ownership through positive enforcement, both for the 11,000 existing licensed dogs in the district — but also those yet to be licensed.
"A dog license is not only required by law but... it can be the dog's ticket home, it's kind of like insurance in the event that a licensed dog gets away," he says. A license costs $20 and $60 for dogs not spayed or neutered.
Part of responsible owership is about being a good neighbour, Smith says, not letting your dog become a nuisance or threat, barking execessively or leaving it alone for long periods of time.
The district says about two thirds of the dogs received at the pound are unlicensed, and come January a new zero-tolerance policy will be matched by steep fines.
Officially launching today, it's the first program of it's kind in B.C. but well established in Calgary where up to 90 per cent of the city's dogs are licensed.
"We've taken this model off the one that was devised by the city of Calgary which was extremely succesful," Smith says.
Another perk announced by the district is the introduction of permanent dog licenses, saving people the hassle of replacing the tag each year.
“They don't have to get out the needle-nosed plyers every January and pry open the old S-form... they don't have to do that anymore, they just have one tag that they keep for the life of the dog.” However the license will still require annual renewal online or in person at one of six licensing locations.
Fees collected from licensing go towards funding the local dog pound as well as $60,000 to the Kelowna SPCA for spay and neuter programs.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013