Kelowna’s dog owners are taxpayers too

To the editor:

To the editor:

In response to Jason Tansem’s well-written letter (Red Faced Over Time Spent On Doggie Parks, Capital News, Feb. 4), I need to make a few comments, which are directed at the population at large and the city councillors who oppose dog parks.

First of all, I can empathize with Mr. Tansem’s concerns about spending valuable council time on something as lowly as the dogs.

But just so we are straight on this subject, dogs are far from lowly, undeserving creatures to a great many people here and everywhere. They directly and indirectly benefit our lives, both individually and collectively.

I am not going to list the many ways but one of the more obvious ways is by getting people out exercising and interacting with others, an act that indirectly reduces the cost of health care.

Secondly, you are right, dogs do not pay taxes. But aren’t they responsible for a huge amount of tax this city enjoys collecting and you reap the benefits of?

When one considers the number of dog-related businesses in this town, it becomes obvious dogs form a large part of the economic base for commercial activity in Kelowna.

For instance, there are more than 20 dog boarding kennels, day cares and multiple pet sitters, more than 15 pet stores, well over 15 dog obedience companies or individual teachers, more than 22 veterinary hospitals employing 40 veterinarians, more than 22 groomers, multiple outlets for purchasing fencing for home kennels and yard fencing, pet cemeteries and dog agility clubs all of which bring money to Kelowna, as well as pet photographers and even a company that has developed a new dog game.

And then there is the financial spin off from people coming to town for agility and obedience trials, not to mention all of the business that the dog-related businesses do with other companies in town, such as banks, accountants, lawyers, office supplies and the list goes on.

Dog-related businesses account for millions of dollars in this city. And that is a very large tax base.

It may not be the dogs that deserve time spent on them by our city councilors, but the dog owners sure do.

I am fed up with the negative attitude aimed at dogs and dog owners. And, I am tired of misinformation being publicized regarding dogs.

For instance, last July CHBC ran a news story that featured someone from Interior Health claiming one-third of the coliform count in our lake was attributed to dogs.

Totally unbelievable when one considers dogs aren’t allowed in the lake other than 10 kilometres out of town.So naturally, I had to sleuth it out.

What I discovered is less than 15 per cent may be from dogs but the vast majority is from birds.

But no one wanted to accept blame for the erroneous information and no one has yet to correct it.

The crux of the problem is dogs need more beach access close to town. Whether it is certain times of the day at certain beaches only that are conveniently located, doesn’t matter.

But something has to change, that’s for sure.

It simply isn’t fair to the dog-owning, tax-payers who live here too.

Those people that complain need to be reminded of the above numbers as far as dog-related business in this town.

And really, nothing more needs to be said on this subject. We just need action.

Dr. Moira Drodvech

Pawsitive Veteriary Care,