Got a pup – or an opinion about them? Help the City of North Vancouver develop its first dog strategy by sharing your point of view at letstalk.cnv.org/pups by Feb. 28.
Over the next 10 years and beyond, the City-wide Dog Strategy will guide decisions about dog services and amenities while helping to ensure safe, active places that work for everyone.
Through its People & Pups in the City campaign, the City wants to hear what both dog parents and non-owners think about what works, what doesn’t and potential PAWSibilities when it comes to shared public spaces, dog facilities and services, and dog-related bylaw enforcement. Options for input at letstalk.cnv.org/pups include a survey, map and question tool.
A Dog-friendly Community
The City of North Vancouver is home to many pups and provides them with a variety of services and amenities. In recent years, the City has doubled its off-leash areas from three to six, added a Barklet (dog mini-park) on Lonsdale Avenue and installed more than 40 red dog waste bins in public spaces. Leashed dogs are welcome on many trails and other public spaces.
The City also dedicates resources to educating the public about responsible dog ownership such as the Poo Fairy campaign reminding dog owners to clean up after their pets, and providing education and enforcing bylaws for issues such as excessive barking, dog waste and unleashed or dangerous dogs.
Meeting the Community’s Changing Needs
According to the National Survey of Canadians in 2021, three per cent of Canadians became first-time pet owners during the pandemic, and the Canadian Animal Health Institute says 41 per cent of households in Canada have dogs.
That means more and more residents are enjoying the benefits of dog ownership, including spending more time outdoors, exercising and connecting with their community. It also means a higher demand for dog-related services and need to ensure animals and people can co-exist.
As the community grows and changes, it’s important that City spaces and services evolve. The new City-wide Dog Strategy will create a framework for how the City plans, designs and manage spaces for both people and pups in the coming years, in alignment with other City plans and strategies. The strategy will:
- Develop priorities for public education about etiquette and responsible dog ownership,
- Identify successes and potential improvements for existing public and private dog areas,
- Identify best practices for design options (size, materials, layout, streetscape, shared spaces, etc.), and
- Identify challenges and gaps in City service-delivery and develop priorities for licensing, enforcement, maintenance and stewardship.
Public input will shape this work, and the City is eager to collect a wide variety of perspectives through letstalk.cnv.org/pups until Feb. 28.
Best Practices, Expertise Guiding Strategy Development
Development of the strategy began in January and will include research of best practices, fieldwork, technical data and consultation with animal behavioural specialists.
Combined with the feedback gathered in February, the collected information will be analyzed in March and inform the development of a draft dog strategy in April. A report on the results of the public consultation will also be compiled this spring, and priority actions and an implementation plan will roll out in 2023.