Letters to the Editor

Dogs add joy to owners’ lives, money to city’s coffers

To the editor:

This letter is to the thousands of Kelowna dog owners who pick up after their dogs. (Re: Clean Up After Your Dogs, June 12 Capital News.)

In 2008, the number of dogs living in Kelowna was estimated to be over 39,000. That number is probably higher now.

Most dogs have at least two people whose home they share. That suggests there are likely more than 80,000 people who can say that they have a dog in the family.

Dogs in Kelowna have a significant positive economic impact in the city. We take our dogs to veterinarians, groomers, trainers, boarding kennels, pet sitters and pet supply stores where we can also purchase biodegradable poop bags.

People with dogs also lead happier, healthier, longer lives and are less likely to depend on health care.

The Queen is said to enjoy the company of a handful of palace Corgis.

A majority of hotels in and around Kelowna also recognize the value of dogs to tourism.

All segments of society have bad apples, and the dog community has its share of them. While few people would write a letter to the editor about fast-food container trash, dog poop will inspire them to angry rants.

The Kelowna Dog Association, which was formed less than a year ago, is working hard to educate the irresponsible people who do not pick up. So far, with the help of a handful of Kelowna businesses, we have been able to purchase 15,000 doggy bags that are 100 per cent degradable. As that is all our young association can afford, we elected to fill dog-bag dispensers in parks that are popular with visitors, like the lake promenade stretching from the bridge to the Rotary Marshes.

A Good Samaritan, meanwhile, has been providing biodegradable bags in all of Kelowna’s dog parks. To date this year, he has purchased more than 150,000 bags at his own expense. His generosity has resulted in cleaner dog parks and perhaps more people learning to purchase their own supply of bags.

While there is no excuse for not picking up after one’s dog, neither is there an excuse for being rude to thousands of responsible dog guardians in Kelowna.

Helen Schiele,

Kelowna

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