Morning Star file photo                                There have been concerns about dogs off-leash on the Okanagan Rail Trail.

Morning Star file photo There have been concerns about dogs off-leash on the Okanagan Rail Trail.

Dogs creating problems in parks

Issues arising in dog parks as well as along the Okanagan Rail Trail

It’s dog eat dog at local parks.

The Regional District of North Okanagan was told Wednesday that there’s problems with aggressive dogs at greenspaces, particularly in Greater Vernon.

“The dog parks seem to be a free for all in some places,” said Pat Ellis, with K-9 Dog Control, which has the contract to enforce bylaws.

Even with dog parks being off-leash, Ellis insists the animals can’t do anything they want.

“Your dog must still be under control in a dog park,” she said.

K-P has recently received three complaints about dogs loose on the Okanagan Rail Trail.

“It needs some consistent signage (citing the rules) and a presence from us,” said Ellis.

A consistent issue is dog feces not being picked up and K-9’s staff hands out bags when in the parks.

In residential areas, barking keeps dog control officers busy.

“Often the dog complaints we get have nothing to do with the dog. People don’t get along with their neighbours,” said Ellis.

Ellis insists issuing tickets is a last resort for any offences.

“We’re not the bad guys. We’re doing the job paid for by the regional district. We follow the provincial rules and the regional district rules,” she said.

About 30 dogs a month are seized, often because they have wandered away.

“Most go home within five minutes. If they have a license, we are phoning the guy who owns them,” said Ellis.