License your pooch, or else

If you own a dog named Bella, chances are, you're not alone.

Bella was the most common name for dogs licensed in the Central Okanagan last year.

Nearly 23,000 dogs were licensed in the Central Okanagan in 2017. That's nearly 80 per cent of the estimated 30,000 in the region.

Regional District of Central Okanagan communications officer Bruce Smith says of dogs housed at the pound last year, about 75 per cent were licensed. He says 10 years ago, that number would have been reversed.

The regional district is reminding residents they have until the end of February to either renew, or purchase 2018 dog licences to take advantage of a $20 savings.

Until the end of the month, licences cost $20 for dogs that are spayed or neutered and $60 if not. That goes up to $40 and $80 on March 1.

Smith says thousands of dog owners are using the convenient and secure My Dog Matters Rewards and Licensing App for their renewal.

“There’s no more lining up to renew in person."

Owners may also renew in person at the RDCO office in Kelowna, the Regional Dog Pound (890 Weddell Pl.), at any local government office or the Kelowna branch of the SPCA.

North Westside residents can purchase a licence at the main firehall (514 Udell Rd.) in Killiney Beach. Call 250-545-1195 in advance to ensure staff is available.

Smith adds there is zero tolerance for unlicensed dogs, and there are hefty fines for not having one.

The RDCO also released a list of the top names, and breeds in 2017.

The most popular names include Bella (300), Charlie (267), Molly (235), Daisy (203) and Lucy (189). The most popular breeds include, Labradors (3,762), Shih Tzu (1,633), Border Collie (883), Chihuahua (778) and Shepherd (585).

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