Thumbs up to proposal to ensure all dogs are on leashes downtown

By on June 11, 2014

As Mayor Stu Wells said so eloquently during last week’s meeting of Town of Osoyoos council, there aren’t many issues and subjects that gain more interest and passionate debate in this community than anything to do with dogs.

That’s why there should be plenty of interesting debate now that town council appears only weeks away from adopting a revision to its longstanding dog licensing and control bylaw.

The major revision being strongly considered by members of town council is one that would prohibit any dog from being in the downtown core without a leash at any time of the year.

“As far as I’m concerned, there should not be any dog off leash in our downtown at any time,” said Coun. Mike Plante.

Mayor Stu Wells agreed.

“I think council is in favour of having all dogs on a leash at all times (downtown),” he said.

Under the current bylaw, no dogs are allowed in Gyro Park during peak tourist season between the beginning of June and end of July.

For all other parks in town during the months of June, July and August, all dogs must be on leashes. For all other parks during the rest of the year from September to May, all dogs must be either on leashes or under the care and control of their owners.

There will be many who disagree, but there’s really no excuse for any dog to be wandering around free and off leash anywhere in the downtown core at any time.

If you want to allow your dog to run free, bring your pooch to the Osoyoos Dog Park, which opened last year and has proven to be a wonderful facility.

Osoyoos is a tourist town and the last thing a visitor wants to experience when coming to our beautiful community is to be intimidated by a big dog that is not under the care and control of its owner.

As Wells pointed out, Osoyoos is a town filled with dogs and responsible dog owners and any changes to the current dog control bylaw are sure to cause controversy.

That’s why council has hinted strongly about holding a public meeting sometime in the next few weeks to discuss the current bylaw and proposed changes to the bylaw. No one would argue that the vast majority of dog owners are very responsible and go out of their way to ensure that they have care and control of their dogs at all times.

There have also been incidents, like the one 10 days ago, where a large and vicious dog, which wasn’t under the control of its owner, attacked another smaller dog in an unprovoked attack.

We applaud council for taking the initiative to ensure that our community will remain dog friendly, while ensuring that our residents and fellow canines will be safe. There’s no reason to not have a dog on leash when there are a lot of people walking on a downtown street.

We repeat that if you want to have your dog run free, take him or her to the local dog park.

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