Jack (left) and Pepita walk the Okanagan Rail Trail. Their owner Joanna Long is organizing a dog poop pickup event for this Saturday. (Submitted)

Dog owners warned to keep a leash on pets in Vernon

City will be ticketing dogs off-leash in restricted areas

Leashes are being tightened on dogs at Marshall Field.

The City of Vernon is directing K9 Control to show no mercy (warnings) and ticket owners who let their dogs run at large on playing fields, including the disc golf course.

“I think we have to train people the hard way,” said Coun. Scott Anderson.

See: City of Vernon provides off-, on-leash dog walking guidance map

While getting outfitted for Bollywood Bang at the nearby Lakers Clubhouse this past weekend, Coun. Kari Gares was surprised at the number of dog owners she witnessed disregarding the rules.

“It was amazing how many dogs I saw running about, no leashes, no nothing,” said Gares.

“K9 Control only really goes there once a day, which I get, and they haven’t issued any tickets and only two warnings (so far this year).”

With soccer season just three weeks away, Coun. Akbal Mund is eager to see enforcement increased to ensure kids aren’t kicking around dog poop instead of soccer balls.

See: Vernon Soccer balks at dogs off-leash at Marshall Field

“As a frequent user of that facility, I agree that we maybe need to send something to K9 Control because it’s not going to stop it’s going to get worse,” said Mund.

Five signs have also been installed along the designated off-leash area next to the soccer fields.

From the Lakers Clubhouse parking area to the fenced baseball diamond, there were no visual markers as to the boundary. These signs were placed to permit dog walkers sufficient space that is level, clean and navigable to connect to the broader expanse of off-leash area nearer the fenced baseball field.

“City staff await the environmental assessment report of the park on April 15. The report will identify critical areas and buffer zones to protect sensitive wildlife habitats and propose management actions to maintain the integrity of these habitats in the park,” said Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming. “The Qualified Environmental Professionals are also reviewing dog behaviour in the park and providing some broader data to give context to management actions.”

Dogs are not permitted on the playing fields nor in the disc golf area north of Lakers Clubhouse.

Meanwhile over on the Okanagan Rail Trail, where spring is revealing a poop soup mess of dog feces, a cleanup is planned for this Saturday.

See: Challenge issued to keep Okanagan Rail Trail free of dog poop


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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