Pick up your dog's poop or pay $150

The City of Kelowna wants to get dog owners to pick up after their animals when in city parks and public spaces. New signs have gone up to remind them.
Image Credit: Contributed

KELOWNA – Nobody wants to step in dog droppings while trying to enjoy a public park in Kelowna.

In an effort to get the message “if they poop, you must scoop” out there, the city has recently put up new signs in some of the parks.

“While most owners are responsible and pick up after their pets, it only takes a handful to cause a problem,” Park services manager Ian Wilson says in a media release.

Wilson says the average dog produces 124 kilograms of waste per year.

“That can quickly add up in our parks and public spaces.”

He says there are about 300,000 dogs in the Central Okanagan, so if you do that math, it adds up to 3.7 million kilograms of poop per year.

The dog droppings left behind seep into the ground and can wash into nearby creeks and Okanagan Lake.

Wilson says dog waste isn’t biodegradable.

“It’s a myth,” he says. “Depending on the climate, dog waste can remain for up to one year before it is fully decomposed, and just because it has disappeared doesn’t mean it’s gone.”

Dog poo contains bacteria, nitrogen and salts, which don’t dissolve and can be harmful, he says.

The city wants dog owners to bring along plastic bags to pick up the dog poo or use the 'Take a Bag, Leave a Bag' dispensers provided by the city.

The fine for not scooping the poop is $150.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at halexander@infonews.ca. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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