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Nearly 3,000 dogs believed to be without a licence in the Central Okanagan

If your dog is unlicensed, it could cost you $300.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan says there are 2,968 dogs in the region who were licensed in 2018, but not this year.

While some of those dogs may have passed away or gone missing, many of them are from dog owners that have failed to renew their pet’s licence.

<who>Photo Credit: RDCO

As a result, the RDCO will be conducting a dog audit over the coming weeks.

“Bylaw enforcement staff will begin contacting owners to determine the status of the dog so that we can update our records,” said Bruce Smith, RDCO communications officer.

Smith says the number of people licensing their dogs has improved over recent years, with just 30% of dogs that come into the pound being unlicensed.

That figure used to be as high as 75%, he explained.

"There are approximately 20,000 licensed dogs in the Central Okanagan and we thank those owners for being responsible and embracing the need for a licence,” said Smith.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia

If you’re caught with an unlicensed dog, you’ll be issued a $300 and Smith says there’s a zero tolerance policy in place.

You can get your dog licence through the My Dog Matters app or in person at any RDCO office.

Here are some of the benefits of having your dog licensed:

A license tag on a dog makes it easy for staff to reunite lost and ‘at large’ dogs;

  • There is a one-time, free ride home;
  • Fees contribute to the operation of the Pound so that food, shelter and veterinary care can be provided to lost and homeless dogs;
  • Public Safety—service to our community 24/7 including investigation of aggressive and dangerous dog attacks, and support for the victims;
  • Financial support of the SPCA spay and neuter program, public education initiatives including school programs, and dog adoption services;
  • Staff are there to address neighbor dog-related conflicts;
  • Capturing and assisting injured or stray dogs;
  • Placement for unclaimed dogs;
  • Easy online dog license renewals using the My Dog Matters App (RDCO Dog App);
  • Education about nuisance and aggressive dogs, barking, at-large dog behavior;
  • Licensed dog owners receive the My Dog Matters Rewards Program card. With more than 60 local businesses participating in the program owners are provided with the opportunity to receive discounts and special services.

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