Leashes, doggy bags mandatory after North Okanagan bylaw update

RDNO steps up dog bylaws to prevent people from stepping in it

Picking up after your pooch has been written into the bylaws after changes made in the Regional District of North Okanagan’s Dog Control bylaw.

Puppy parents in Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby and Electoral areas B and C must bring a leash and doggy bag anytime they are not on their property, at home or in an designated off-leash area.

“For most dog owners, this will not be a new habit,” RDNO communications officer Ashley Gregerson said.

“Most owners have already been leashing their dogs and picking up after them voluntarily,” she said. “To make it a consistent behaviour, there are now bylaws in effect that clearly state what is required.”

The updated bylaw will help prevent people, some of which are not “dog people,” from stepping in doggy doo-doo or being approached by a dog.

“An unleashed dog can be incredibly friendly and still unintentionally hurt someone, like if a dog were to jump up to greet an elderly person or a child and knock them over,” Gregerson said. “It’s really about having respect for the people and animals you’re sharing the path with.”

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The RDNO’s Top 5 reasons to keeping dogs on a leash:

  1. Not all people are dog people – A person may be distressed, uncomfortable, or afraid of a dog. Let’s be good neighbours and respect those who wish to keep their distance from dogs.
  2. Avoid Preventable Veterinary Bills – Leashing a dog is the best way to keep your dog from being sick or injured. Harmful plants or objects and contaminated water may pose a health or safety concern to unleashed dogs.
  3. Avoid Injuries – A dog could intentionally or unintentionally injure a person, including the elderly and children, another animal, or itself. Unleashed dogs can also run out into traffic.
  4. Protect the Environment – Leashing your dog can reduce disturbance to sensitive wildlife habitats and negative wildlife encounters.
  5. It’s the Law – Outside of your home, property, and dog parks, your furry friend MUST be on a leash no longer than 2.4 metres if you’re in Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby, Electoral Areas B & C.

@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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