Reminder to keep dogs off Kelowna sports fields, school grounds and beaches

Image Credit: Contributed/City of Kelowna

KELOWNA - Many outdoor sporting activities are in full swing in the Central Okanagan. Our municipal sports fields and school playing fields are busy most nights with team practices and on weekends with scheduled games.

While it’s great to see so many families out and supporting an active lifestyle, dog owners should leave their dog at home.

Central Okanagan dog owners are reminded that unless otherwise designated, all sports fields, school properties and beaches are off limits for dogs.

“It’s not fair to the dog to bring them into an area where there are so many people and there’s so much activity taking place. Dogs can get excited and there could be an unnecessary bite or other confrontation. As well, if you’re watching a sporting event, you aren’t giving your dog the attention it deserves and you may miss them leaving a deposit behind. No one likes to step in dog pooh, especially in an area were so many people are gathered for healthy pursuits,” Communications Officer Bruce Smith says.

As available, dog control officers will pay special attention to sport fields and school properties. Those found with a dog in a prohibited area will receive a $100 fine.

Responsible dog ownership involves having a current license on your pet, keeping it leashed (two meters or less in length) unless you’re in a designated off-leash park and in control of your dog 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.

Dog owners who fail 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 Rd.), at the dog pound (860 Weddell Pl.), each municipal government office and at the Kelowna branch of the SPCA (3785 Casorso Rd.)

One of the benefits of licensing a dog is the My Dog Matters 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 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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