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License, leash and pickup please

April 04, 2015 - 12:17 PM

With the earlier than normal end to winter conditions, more dog owners in the Central Okanagan are out and about exercising their pets.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan encourages them to be good neighbours when they’re out in public places together.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “Responsible dog ownership involves having a current license on your pet, keeping it leashed, unless you’re in a designated off-leash park and in control at all times. Dog owners are responsible for picking up after their pet and properly disposing of any poop, which can be a public health concern.”

He adds, “Now that the snow is long gone, piles of dog poop left behind from the winter are more noticeable, and complaints are starting to come in, especially in some well-used park areas across the Central Okanagan. We applaud dog owners who pick up and dispose of their dog’s poo whether it’s in a park, along a boulevard or the side of the road or a neighbouring property. Picking up after your dog is your responsibility and helps keep our region a dog friendly community.”

Some parks and walkways offer ‘take a bag, leave a bag’ dispensers for dog owners. “We encourage dog owners to look for them, contribute bags to them and to take bags from them, then toss the filled bag into the garbage.”  Smith adds, “Part of the ritual for many dog owners as they get ready to go out with their pet involves tying a bag or two on their leash before attaching it to their dog’s collar and heading out the door.”

Dog owners caught failing to pick up after their pet could face a fine of $150. All dog owners in the Central Okanagan are reminded that they must have a current license or they’ll be subject to a fine of $300 under the Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw. There is Zero Tolerance for unlicensed dogs in the Central Okanagan.

A license costs $20 for a dog that’s spayed or neutered, $60 if it isn’t. They can be purchased online at regionaldistrict.com or at the Regional District office (1450 KLO Road), at the Dog Pound (860 Weddell Place), each municipal government office and at the Kelowna branch of the SPCA (3785 Casorso Road).

One of the benefits of licensing a dog is the My Dog Matter rewards program. The card can be used for discounts and special services at more than 50 businesses listed on the mydogmatters.ca program website. Another incentive is that dogs with a current license get a one-time, free ticket home, should they end up at the Dog Pound.

Dog owners are reminded that if their pet gets away they should contact the Dog Pound as quickly as possible as the Regional District is only required to hold a dog for up to 72 hours.

There’s plenty of information available about dog licensing and Responsible Dog Ownership in the Central Okanagan. Check out www.regionaldistrict.com/dogs for information about the Regional Dog service and what to do if you lose or find a dog.

 

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