October 14, 2016 - 2:37 PM
KELOWNA – In an effort to encourage dog owners to register their pets and pay their fines, the Regional District of the Central Okanagan is revising their Responsible Dog Ownership bylaw.
The board approved an amendment to the bylaw making it more expensive for first time registration but if done within the first two months of the new year, a $20 discount brings the cost back to where it was prior.
Up until the amendment was voted into effect on Oct. 13, dog owners were charged $60 for an intact dog and $20 for one that is spayed or neutered.
Regional district spokesperson Bruce Smith says under the new bylaw the cost for both renewals and new licences increases from $20 to $40 per spayed or neutered dog and from $60 to $80 for unsprayed or unneutered. With a new $20 discount for owners who register before the end of February, the cost stays the same.
The District also made it easier for residents who buy new licences later in the year.
"In the old pro-rated licence fee, if you bought a new licence after July 1 you got a pro-rated fee of $10 for spayed or neutered," Smith says. "We've done away with that, but after Sept. 30 anybody purchasing a new licence will get the remainder of that year plus the entire next year for $40 or $80 depending."
The board also approved changing the bylaws dealing with fines for unlicenced canines found within the district. The district implemented a zero tolerance policy for unlicenced dogs earlier this year, giving owners until March 1 to register. Those who did not comply and were caught were penalized $300.
In an effort to encourage prompt payment the board approved a $150 discount off the $300 fine for unlicenced dogs, provided owners pay the fine within 14 days of issuance.
Should an owner choose not to pay within 14 days the fine remains at $300 and a late fee of $25 is added.
Board chair Gail Given says the changes do not imply that the current system was flawed but rather evolving.
“We’re always looking for constant improvement,” she says. “We are going in the right direction.”
No discount is available to nuisance or dangerous dogs.
For a complete list of bylaws regarding dogs within the Regional District, visit the Responsible Dog Ownership website.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016