The Regional District of Central Okanagan is trying to tickle your funny bone in a new attempt to get dog owners to do their doggy duties.
New signs will be popping up throughout regional parks with a light-hearted touch to get dog owners to have a laugh while following the rules.
“Some new signage is coming with kind of a humorous bent to the messaging to try to get the message across that dog owners have a responsibility to leash their dog and pick-up and dispose of the dog poop that is left behind,” explained RDCO Communications Officer Bruce Smith.
For example one sign says, “Make sure your dog doesn't leave anything behind! Catch our drift?” while another says, “If your dog poops and you don't scoop...but nobody sees you...does that mean it won't stick to the bottom of your shoe?”
Smith says the idea was to be less about enforcement and more about the information.
“Rather than the harsh bylaw, bylaw, bylaw, here is the law, we just thought by taking a different approach and a somewhat humorous approach it will attract more attention and get more awareness and encourage dog owners to do those things that they are expected to do.”
The RDCO receives daily complaints about dog owners and Smith says the two most common complaints are dogs off leash and owners not picking up after their pet.
“We all know that dog poop is a nuisance that can be easily avoided simply by carrying a bag and using it to pick up after your pet, then disposing of it in a proper manner,” says Smith.
“As well, having a dog on a leash of two meters or less is a bylaw requirement as it provides the handler with greater control over their animal and less opportunity for conflict with other residents.”
To help spread the message about responsible dog ownership the RDCO has also brought in two 'Dog Ambassadors' for the summer, students to roam regional parks and provide dog owners some in-person guidance.
“We will have two students out in the summer in various parks as dog ambassadors,” explains Smith. “Not for enforcement purposes but to provide awareness and information and to encourage dog owners to continue doing the right thing while providing information to dog owners who may not be doing all the things they need to be doing as responsible dog owners.”
The district will also take advantage of their volunteer 'Parks VIP Patrollers' this summer. They are community members who will also spread the rules and raise awareness which Smith hopes will avoid dog owners, who are not currently complying, financial enforcement consequences.
There is more information available about dog licensing and Responsible Dog Ownership at the regionaldistrict.com/dogs.
Failing to leash your dog and failing to pick up after your furry friend can result in fines under the new Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw.
Dogs found unlicensed will also face a zero tolerance policy and a $300 fine to the owner.