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A dog's life to be made easier in Oak Bay

Dec 11 2011

Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen wants to make his municipality more dog-friendly.

Jensen plans to consult with the local Windsor dog group for suggestions on how the municipality can be more accommodating to man's best friend.

Jensen made the announcement in his inaugural address as part of the his plans to strengthen the municipality's ties with community groups.

"I will ask the successful Windsor dog group to assist council by reviewing our dog regulations and invite them to recommend how Oak Bay can become more dog-friendly while encouraging responsible dog ownership," Jensen said.

"It's kind of encouraging," said Christine Ash, Windsor dog group member. "I don't know if it needs so much to be more dog-friendly but I think it would be nice to see different types of policies implemented in Oak Bay such as other municipalities have."

Saanich, for instance, supplies dog poop bags at parks, she said.

"Oak Bay doesn't do that. So there's little things like that. The costs of those could be borne by maybe some of the larger pet stores or that type of thing," Ash said. "Maybe we could look at pilot projects where there's more off-leash areas."

Oak Bay's dog control bylaw requires all dog owners to obtain a licence. Dogs must be leashed on all streets, sidewalks and public walkways, and in many parks.

They must not be taken on Willows Beach or McNeill Bay Beach between May 1 and Sept. 30.

Dogs are prohibited from the Turkey Head Walkway, the Native Plant Park, the Henderson Park Golf Course, and the Windsor Park Rose Garden at all times.

Windsor Park is a leash-free area in the winter months from sunrise until 11 a.m. and in the summer months of June, July and August from sunrise until 9 a.m. Willows is a leash-free beach during the winter months.

The Windsor group, which has more than 200 on its mailing list, is to survey its members for suggestions on how to make the municipality more dog-friendly.

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