Dog owners offered a break on pet license fee

Central Okanagan Regional District offering reduced fees for early birds

A new app will help local residents register their dog.

The Central Okanagan Regional District is reminding area dog owners that it’s time to renew the licences for their pets.

Between now and the end of February, the regional district is giving owners a break, with a reduction of $20 off the cost of the regular $40 annual licence fee for a spayed or neutered dog. The cost of a new, or renewed licence for a dog not spayed or neutered before the end of February is $60. As of March 1, the licence fee for a spayed or neutered dog will rise to $40, and to $80 for an animal not spayed or neutered.

RDCO spokesman Bruce Smith said all owners are required to licence their dogs and renewal notices were to be sent out this week to existing licence holders. But, he said, some owners have already renewed their licences in order to get the discount.

The regional district handles dog licensing and control for the entire Central Okanagan, including in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland and the unincorporated areas of Okanagan East and West.

For more information, and to purchase a licence on line, go to the RDCO website at: regionaldistrict.com/your-services/corporate-services/dog-control and follow the links.

The regional district has also has an app created for it called My Dog Matters to help in the licensing of dogs.

The app is believed to be the first developed for local governments in Canada and allows users to renew a licence from a mobile device.

Any dog owner with a current licence who has provided their email address has received a welcome email that provides information on how they can download the app for free at the Google and iTunes app stores. They can also go online and download the app.

Approximately 19,000 dog owners in the Central Okanagan have licensed their pets and are now able to access the free app. According to the RDCO, more than 23,000 dogs are now licensed in the Central Okanagan.

The app also contains a digital My Dog Matters reward program card, good at 50 participating businesses for special discounts and services.

In addition to the website and the app, licences can also be renewed, or new ones purchased, in person at the RDCO office in Kelowna, at the regional dog pound (890 Weddell Place), at any local government office or at the Kelowna branch of the SPCA.

“We’ve been working for the past few years to make dog licensing as easy and convenient as possible,” said Smith.

“This is especially good news for those owners who want to use electronic devices to renew, or who might head south early each year and are concerned about renewing their license before the Feb. 28 deadline. Now, with the My Dog Matters app, they can do it right on their mobile device or renew online through the Regional District website.”

He added, the app will also help makes it easier for the regional district to communicate directly with licensed dog owners, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars in mailing costs.