Reinforcing Dog Owner Responsibilities with a Grin
May 14, 2014 - 2:34 PM
It’s said ‘You can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.’ The Regional District hopes using a little humour will resonate with more Central Okanagan dog owners.
New signs can be found along the hugely popular Mission Creek Greenway multi-user recreational corridor and will find their way over the coming weeks in many Regional Parks. They use light-hearted messaging to encourage more dog owners to leash their pets and pick up after them. These are two common sources of complaints.
For example one sign reads, ‘Make sure your dog doesn’t leave anything behind! Catch our drift?’ Another says, ‘Attention Dog guardians please pick up after your dogs. Attention dogs, Grrr, bark, woof. Good dog. Thank you!’ And a third says, ‘If your dog poops and you don’t scoop…but nobody sees you…does that mean it won’t stick to the bottom of my shoe?’
Communications Officer Bruce Smith 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. We all know that dog poop is a nuisance that can be easily avoided simply by carrying a bag and using it to pick up after your pet, then disposing of it in proper manner. Having a dog on a leash of two meters or less is a bylaw requirement as it provides a handler with greater control over their animal and less opportunity for conflict with other residents.”
Smith adds, “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. Dog poo left behind in parks, on boulevards and sidewalks and on other people’s property is one of the most common complaints we and our municipal partners hear about, right across the region. Running a close second is owners that don’t have control over their dogs. We hope the messages from these signs will further encourage dog owners to get on board and be a responsible and thoughtful citizen.”
Also this summer, the Regional District will be introducing Dog Ambassadors and volunteer Parks VIP Patrollers to the community. Smith says, ‘Our goal with these programs is to provide an opportunity for further awareness and information to dog owners and park users and for positive interaction and encouragement of responsible behaviors. 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.”
There’s plenty of information available about dog licensing and Responsible Dog Ownership in the Central Okanagan. Check out regionaldistrict.com/dogs for information about the Regional Dog service and what to do if you lose or find a dog.
Dog owners are reminded that failing to leash and failing to pick up after their pet could result in fines under the new Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw. As well, there is Zero Tolerance for unlicensed dogs resulting in a $300 fine. Licenses are available at all local government offices, the Regional Dog Pound (890 Weddell Place) and the Kelowna SPCA branch. With the nicer weather and more people visiting parks and public areas across the Central Okanagan, you can expect to see more Dog Control Officers out on patrol.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014