Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is provided here for your convenience only.  As regulations and definitions may differ by service area, we strongly encourage you to download a copy of the dog control bylaw(s) for your area directly from your local government. See Dog Control Bylaws for more information.

Where can I view photos of impounded dogs, or dogs for sale?
From time to time, we post adoptable dogs on our Facebook page. Due to time constraints, we aren’t always able to update our website or Facebook page with photos of impounded dogs.  Please call us at 250.545.8070 to confirm whether your dog was impounded.

Do I need to buy a dog licence?
In the North Okanagan, a licence is required for any dog over the age of 6 months.   Licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction – find out more about Dog Control Bylaws.  See also “Where Can I Purchase a Dog Licence?”.

*** Please renew RDNO dog licences prior to January 1 ***

Can I purchase or renew a dog licence online?
Yes!  Follow one of these links:

Can I receive a reminder to purchase a dog licence prior to January 1st?
Yes!  If you’ve purchased an RDNO dog licence online, your email address is already on our Mailing List, and you will automatically receive a reminder in the fall.

  • If you didn’t buy a licence online, please subscribe to our Mailing List to receive automated reminders.  We won’t share your address with anyone, and we will only contact you a few times a year, to remind you to purchase a dog licence prior to January 1st to save.
  • Follow this link to unsubscribe from our Mailing List.

When are next year’s dog licences available?
Usually by mid-October of the year prior. By October 15, 2019, most pet retailers will have 2020 RDNO licences available. Be sure to buy or renew before January 1st to save.  See “Where Can I Purchase a Dog Licence?”.

What are your hours of service?
In the North Okanagan, our regular office hours are Monday to Saturday from 9:00am to 5:30pm. Kennel hours are by appointment only.

What if I have an emergency after hours?
For emergency service outside regular office hours, please leave a message with a call-back number where we can reach you.  Please note that Barking Dogs are not considered an emergency. We encourage you to File a Report online.  If public safety is at risk, call 911 or your local RCMP.


A variety of leashes and restraining devices are available for dogs – please use them!

Am I considered a dog “Owner”?
A dog “owner” is a person who owns or has custody, care or control of a dog.  You are considered the dog’s “owner” if you are walking the dog on a leash, for example.

What does  “At Large” mean?
“At Large” means a Dog that, while not on the property of the Owner:

  1. is not confined within a vehicle; or
  2. is not securely attached to a Leash held by a person who has the ability to restrain the Dog while the Dog is under their care; or
  3. is in a park designated for dogs to be off leash or within Electoral Area “D”, and not in visual sight of and Under Control of the Owner.

What does “Under Control” mean?
“Under Control” means such circumstances where the Dog is in visible sight distance to the Owner, and responds to the Owner immediately and returns to the Owner within a reasonable time when called or signaled by the Owner, as determined by the Dog Control Officer.

Every owner of a dog must ensure that:

  1. when accompanied by a Dog on any Public Land, shall have in their possession a suitable means of facilitating the removal of the Dog excrement;
  2. proof can be provided of compliance with section 17.a when requested by a Dog Control Officer;
  3. their dog excrement deposited on Public Land and property other than property owned by the Dog Owner, is promptly removed and disposed of; and
  4. dog excrement is not permitted to accumulate on the Owner’s property to the degree that odour is noticeable on the neighbouring property.

What is a “leash”?
A “leash” is a device, or use of a device, of leather, metal, nylon or other similar strong material no more than 2.4 metres in length and of sufficient strength and design to restrain the size and strength of dog for which it will be (or is being) used. One end must remain securely affixed to a collar or harness securely attached to the dog with the other end held by a person capable of controlling the dog at all times.

What is considered “Public Land”?
“Public Land” means any highway, road, lane, street, boulevard, crescent, walkway, trail, park, playground or other public place that is under ownership, lease or tenure by the City of Vernon, the District of Coldstream, the Village of Lumby, Electoral Areas “B” and “C”, and that part of Electoral Area “D” within the Lumby and District Fire Protection Area.

What is an “unaltered” dog?
Anunaltered” dog is a dog that has not been spayed or neutered.

What is an “unlicensed” dog?
An “unlicensed” dog is any dog for which a license for the current year has not been obtained.

What is “excessive barking”?
Any barking, howling, yelping or cries that unduly disturbs the peace, quiet, rest, comfort or tranquillity of the surrounding neighbourhood or vicinity, or of persons in the neighbourhood or vicinity.

Why does my dog bark, and what can I do about it?
See Why Do Dogs Bark for information and tips to help curb problem barking.

What is a “Dog Park”?
“Dog Park” means an area, located on Public Land, and designated by signage to be an off-leash area for dogs within the Corporation of the City of Vernon, the Corporation of the District of Coldstream, the Corporation of the Village of Lumby, and Electoral Areas “B”, “C”, and part of Electoral Area “D” within the Lumby and District Fire Protection Area.

Where can I exercise my dog off-leash in the Greater Vernon area?
There are designated dog parks in Greater Vernon (Vernon, Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C) where dogs may be exercised off-leash, as well as mixed use parks that permit dogs on-leash. See Dog Parks in Greater Vernon for maps and more information.

Are there any rules for Greater Vernon Dog Parks?
Yes! An Owner may cause or permit a dog to be At Large in a designated off-leash park or area provided that the Owner complies with the following requirements: 

  1. The dog wears a collar or harness and a valid dog tag;
  2. The Owner has in his or her possession a leash to control the dog;
  3. The Owner maintains visual sight and verbal control of his or her dog at all times;
  4. In the event of aggression or conflict with another dog or person, the Owner takes immediate physical control of his or her dog;
  5. The dog is healthy and has up-to-date vaccinations; and
  6. The Owner follows all posted rules and regulations on signs in the park or public area.