Angie Mindus photo

Kelowna man says dog licensing fee is ‘arbitrary’

Residents have mixed opinions on fees for dog registration

A Kelowna man is upset that dog licensing fees exist in the Central Okanagan, while other countries don’t have them.

Although Alan Cobden doesn’t have a dog, his son has one, and Cobden believes citizens shouldn’t have to pay a fee to register them.

After spending 10 years in Africa, and while living in Ontario, he said there weren’t licensing fees, which worked just fine.

“There was a feeling of freedom with dogs, that doesn’t exist here,” he said.

In Europe, he said they are allowed on buses and street cars with no problem.

His relatives in Scotland also don’t have licences, although it is required that dogs wear a collar with the owner’s name and address on it and that residents have proper control of their dogs.

He called the licensing “arbitrary.”

READ MORE: Dog license discount ends at the end of the month

Other residents have taken to Facebook to express their opinions about the licences. Some advocate for the licences liked Jess Pichler who posted she was able to find a dog’s owner because it was licensed, while others question the need for a fee.

Dogs are licensed for public safety reasons and to be able to relocate dogs that are lost to their owners, said Bruce Smith, Regional District of the Central Okanagan communications officer.

“Most local governments or municipalities in Canada, and North America licence dogs,” he said.

The funds from dog licences go to back into funding pound operations and dog control services.

“It includes our staffing and investigations of dog attacks and dog incidents,” Smith said.

Dog licences cost $40 for a spayed or neutered dog, $80 if the dog isn’t, but the regional district is currently offering a discounted price for spayed and neutered dogs at $20 and $60 for non-neutered or spayed dogs until March 1.

A grant is also given from the regional district to the BC SPCA each year for its spay and neuter programs.

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