Dog owners may be paying more
You may want to grab your pooch close and give it a hug because, in a couple months, your best friend might just cost you more.
The city is considering increasing its dog-licence fees, effective March 1.
Under the new fee scheme, a homeowner would have to pay $25 a year to licence their neutered dog, an increase from $17.
A licence for an unaltered dog jumps $10 to $60.
According to a staff report, the fees haven’t increased since 2004.
In the intervening eight years, the report states, there have been increases in expenses related to staff wages, pound-facility operations and general enforcement for dog control.
“It is a bit of a cost-recovery measure,” said Jon Wilson, community safety and enforcement manager.
He said there is always a possibility people might avoid licensing their dogs because of the fee increase, but noted fines can be issued to enforce regulations.
Wilson hopes dog owners recognize licensing is a means to help return dogs to their owners if they go missing.
The fine for having an unlicensed dog is $100.
Wilson said the fees aren’t scheduled to increase until March 1, in an effort to encourage dog owners to get their licence before the fees change.
The fees would put Kamloops in the middle of the pack compared to some other communities in the province.
Dog owners in Prince George and Penticton pay $27 and $31, respectively, to license their canines, while residents in Kelowna and Vernon each pay $20.
It’s expected the new fee structure will generate $85,000 in additional revenue.
The city calculated animal control, which is primarily dog-related, consumes an estimated 30 per cent of time spent by the bylaw-services enforcement department.
The cost is estimated at $360,000.
The program generates $144,000 in revenue through the sale of 7,500 dog licences a year.
Wilson didn’t have a number for how many unlicensed dogs there might be in the city.
City council will discuss the proposed increase at its regular meeting today (Jan. 24).
However, owning a cat in Kamloops won’t cost extra.
City staff have recommended against implementing a mandatory-licensing program for cats due to the fact it would be too expensive.
• WHY ARE CATS NOT LICENSED?
Some dog owners have experienced the brunt of city hall when their pooch gets loose.
However, many Kamloopsians who tend to their garden, only to find felines have turned it into a litter box, might wonder why kitties can roam free.
While mandatory licensing fees for dogs are rising, there are no plans to force feline-friendly pet owners to register or license their animals.
Jon Wilson, community safety and enforcement manager for the City of Kamloops, said a mandatory cat-licensing program is not in the works at city hall.
However, cat owners have the option of licensing their pets.
“In the city bylaw right now, it’s optional,” Wilson said, admitting cat licences are few and far between.
“Typically it’s because dogs present a greater risk to the community than your typical house cat would.
“The need to identify them through a licensing system just isn’t there.”
Wilson said he thinks there are “a few” Kamloops cat owners who have their felines licensed.
However, another city employee, who did not want his name used, told KTW he’s been told there have been no cats licensed in the Tournament Capital since the mid-1990s.