RDNO bringing in stiffer fines for dog control incidents, starting May 1

More bite for dog bylaw

New regional district bylaws will soon have more bite when it comes to dog control.

The Regional District North Okanagan has approved a new dog-control bylaw that will take effect May 1.

The new bylaws apply to the Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby, and Electoral Areas B, C and a portion of Electoral Area D.

Tthe RDNO says the number of dogs and dog-related incidents continues to increase.

The new bylaw includes changes that make it consistent with other animal control bylaws in the region.

Some of the substantial changes from the previous bylaw include:

  • The fine for having an unlicensed dog will rise from $100 to $300. Dog licences remain unchanged at $20.
  • The fine for excessive barking will rise from $100 to $200.
  • Dogs must be licensed from the age of three months and older (previously was 6 months).
  • An individual is limited to bringing four dogs to the park at one time. The limit helps ensure that a person is able to supervise and be in control of the dogs at all times.
  • Resisting or interfering with the animal control officer can result in a $1,000 fine, up from $500.
  • The fine for a dog bite or attack that inflicts an injury to a person will rise from $200 to $500.

There have also been changes to that allow for stronger provisions regarding aggressive and dangerous dogs, including:

  • Dogs that have been officially deemed aggressive are not allowed in any off-leash dog park, sports field, playground, public beach, swimming area, park, trail or school ground at any times.
  • Owners must post signs on their property warning of a dangerous dog. Failure to post signs will result in a $500 fine.
  • While in public, aggressive dogs must be on a leash no longer than one metre and must wear a muzzle.

Aggressive and dangerous dogs are dogs that have been officially deemed so by an animal control officer, the RCMP, the BC SPCA, a veterinarian, or by the court following an investigation of an incident.

Aggressive dogs are not breed-specific, and owners are notified of the designation and the responsibilities of keeping an aggressive dog

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