North Okanagan petition calls for better enforcement of on-leash rules for dogs

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Posted February 24, 2023 9:42 pm Updated February 24, 2023 9:44 pm 1:58 North Okanagan petition calls for action on off-leash dogs WATCH: More than 200 people have signed a North Okanagan petition calling on the regional district to do more to enforce dog leashing rules. Petition organizers say it’s a safety issue. Two North Okanagan dog owners have started an online petition calling for the regional district to do more to prevent people from letting their dogs off-leash in on-leash parks. “People need to feel safe. They need to know they can take their dogs to an on-leash park and that the dogs there will be on-leash, that their kids are safe, [and] that the elderly people are safe, but they are not safe because off-leash dogs are everywhere chasing people,” said petition organizer Elizabeth Eckert.More than 250 people have signed the petition asking for dog control to step up its presence on leash parks and for better signage to be put up.The organizers say in recent years it’s become rare to see dog control out on patrol. Story continues below advertisement “I’m not trying to ruin anybody’s fun. I realize that having a dog off-lead is healthy, they get to run around, but there are many off-leash parks that this can happen in and really they shouldn’t be trying to come into the on-leash parks and just letting whatever happen,” said petition organizer Donia Strand. Trending Now “It’s like the wild west out there right now”Strand and Eckert say they both have dogs that have been attacked in the past. While none of the attacks happened in local parks, off-leash dogs in on-leash areas cause challenges for their pets.“I’m not worried about my dog Barnie biting anybody, but he is fearful and an off-leash dog coming up and getting right in his face when he is on his leash sets him back and he is afraid for a couple of days after,” Strand said.The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) did not make anyone available for an interview but said, in a statement, its dog control officers do conduct daily patrols of parks and trails and also have many other responsibilities.The regional district said last year it received 447 dog control complaints and only 12 of them were related to off-leash dogs. Story continues below advertisement The RDNO said it’s looking for opportunities to add more signage and plans to launch a public education campaign focused on responsible dog ownership.“Voluntary compliance is always our preferred outcome, but we’re here to help make the area a harmonious one for the many types of users that enjoy the outdoors and issue fines when appropriate,” an RDNO spokesperson wrote in a statement.The petition organizers plan to formally send their petition to the RDNO in March. &copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Sponsored content Flyers

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