Voluntary dog tags help the pooch get home safe

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News Editor

Monday, April 22 2013

So, on Gabriola, there is no requirement for any dogs to be licensed.

And that’s perfectly acceptable. Gabriola doesn’t need to have dog licensing that then requires dedicated enforcement and registration staff to maintain the system.

(The City of Nanaimo has upped its dog licensing requirements to $30 a year.)

But it would be great if, just for the sake of helping people re-locate their animals, all dog owners could voluntarily put a tag on their canine companions giving the dog’s name, the owner’s name and a phone number to get a hold of the owner.

As the many volunteers with Gabriola’s Petfind can attest to, there is no shortage of dogs being lost and found and re-united with owners on Gabriola. Petfind does great work!

But quite a bit of that volunteer time could be saved if everyone took the time, and a little bit of cash, to ensure their dogs have tags. (By the way: tags are available at Raven Feed, no need to go off island!)

It won’t solve every problem. Poopsie will still get out of the house and yard from time to time, and sometimes that will be without her collar on.

Summer is coming, and that means more and more of us will be out and around on the island with our four-legged friends.

On a different note, while it has become commonplace for people to have their pups at Twin Beaches, Sandwell and Drumbeg for a run, please keep in mind these are the only three places on Gabriola where a dog is actually required to be on a leash, being provincial parks.

The only bylaw we have for the rest of the island is that dogs be under the control of the owner.