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What to do about dog poo in the North Okanagan

A sign at Marshall Fields in Vernon reminds dog walkers to pick up after their pets.
March 10, 2016 - 6:30 PM

VERNON - It’s perhaps the biggest grievance people have with dog owners, and one of the hardest to prevent.

Dog poo left lying in public places for some unsuspecting foot to squish into has motivated the City of Enderby to introduce a $100 fine for people who don’t pick up after their pets, or who aren’t carrying a doggie-bag.

Mayor Greg McCune says there are some trouble spots in and around the city’s parks and schools where the situation is getting out of hand.

“It can be pretty disgusting,” McCune says.

People have also been leaving used bags on trails or tied to fences, apparently thinking a "poop fairy will come along and make it disappear," he says.

Even when caught in the act, McCune says many offenders deny it was their dog that produced the poop.

“We didn’t want to get into a whole DNA analysis thing to get people picking up after their dogs,” McCune says. “Instead of getting into an argument with them if it was their dog or not, we can say, ‘do you have a bag, do you have a means to pick that up?”

If caught without a bag, owners will be charged the fine, he says.

McCune hopes that with the first few fines, habits will change.

In Vernon, where owners already face a $50 fine for not picking up after their dog, the problem has persisted.

Pat Ellis with Vernon Dog Control says there were eight tickets handed out for not picking up after your dog and 22 warnings in 2015.

“We’re having so many problems with people we’ve decided warnings aren’t working and we’re going to be giving out more fines,” Ellis says.

Most of the fines are issued after dog control receives a complaint.

The City of Kelowna also penalizes dog owners for not picking up after their animals, with a $150 fine given to offenders, while the City of Kamloops issues fines of $100.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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