Proposed North Okanagan bylaw to set limits on K9 ownership | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Proposed North Okanagan bylaw to set limits on K9 ownership

January 26, 2021 - 7:00 AM

Dog owners across the North Okanagan could soon see a steep increase in fines as well as a multitude of new regulations that includes a limit on the number of dogs a person can own.

The proposed bylaw would see fines for owners who fail to get their pets licenced triple to $300 from $100, with most other fines doubling.

A dog not wearing a dog tag would cost an owner $100 up from $50, and excessive barking fines increase to $200 from $100. The proposed bylaw also includes stiffer penalties for owners of dangerous dogs and owners who let their dogs run free.

At the North Okanagan Regional District's Jan. 20 meeting, directors voted in favour of moving forward with the proposed changes, which have yet to come into place. The Regional District still has to vote on whether approve the change or not at a later date. If passed, the new bylaw will affect dog owners in Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby and electoral areas B and C, and part of area D.

Fines will increase to $500 from $200 for owners whose dog bites or injures a person, and people who forgot to bring a bag to pick up their dog poop will be fined $50 up from $25.

Along with the changes in fines, the proposed bylaw would also restrict the maximum number of dogs a person can own to three, with a $100 fine for those who break the rules. It's not clear how this will affect people who currently own more than three dogs.

The proposed bylaw will also restrict the number of dogs a person can take to a dog park to a maximum of four, with a $100 fine for those who break the rules.

Dangerous or aggressive dogs will now be prohibited from entering sports fields, playgrounds, beaches, school grounds and on and off-leash dog parks. They will also be required to wear a "Dangerous Dog Tag" and kept on a leash no longer than one metre in length. Owners will also have to post signage at their property saying there is a dangerous dog present.

There are also new fines for failing to control infectious diseases, ($250), enclose a dog in a vehicle contrary to requirements ($100), and abandoning a dog ($500), along with others.

The maximum penalty for violations has also been increased from $2,000 to $10,000.

In fall 2020 the Regional District awarded a new dog control contractor and the Commissionaires took over on Nov. 1, 2020.

The Regional District also launched a new pet licensing program. Licences are now valid for 365 days and cost $20.

To purchase a dog licence and for more information go here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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